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A pig of a year

The big news of 2002 came early on with the January publication of CP121 outlining the FSA&#39s plans for depolarisation and the defined-payment system.

The PI nightmare started in February, with prem-iums rocketing over endowment misselling fears.

In February, we reported that Misys was set to outsource some comp-liance processing to India, a move that was “exclusively” revealed on the front page of a rival nine months later.

In March, Inter-Alliance received an £18m cash injection from the City. Chairman and chief executive Keith Carby was upbeat about the deal and pledged to be in profit within two years.

Tenet had a busy month in May, when both Norwich Union and Friends Provident each bought a 10 per cent stake in the group for a total of £19m.

In June, the FSA&#39s head of with-profits review Eleanor Linton labelled with-profits a misnomer. She said the name created confusion and questioned whether the name with-profits could be applied to funds that did not participate in companies&#39 profits.

Royal & Sun Alliance was hit with a £1.35m fine from the FSA in August for pension misselling. The record fine was for the life office&#39s second offence under the pension review and almost doubled the £650,000 fine incurred by Prudential in 2001.

In September, research commissioned by Money Marketing revealed that 80 per cent of the public would not pay fees for financial advice. By the end of October, the FSA had dropped the defined payment system in favour of Aifa&#39s menu system, leaving IFAs free to be paid commission.

In November, MPs urged the FSA to look at setting up a mutual PI system. The FSA said it would look at the possibilities but a scheme would need the support of product providers.

As the year drew to a close, Misys moved to merge all its five networks in the new year, bringing a quarter of all IFAs in the country into one giant network.

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