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A shift of strategy

There is nothing under this particularly regulatory sun that says a mortgage network should not expand to the life, pension and investment side of the fence.

In many cases, they are choosing to be multi-ties for this service so, under the RDR as currently planned, they will have to describe themselves as salespeople.

Is this a bad thing? In principle, Money Marketing has no objections. In times past, we have struggled to see the benefits of many IFAs turning multi-tied but several new or at least newish businesses since depolarisation have made a reasonable fist of getting people saving a top priority. Perhaps our fears about some aspects of depolarisation have not been borne out, in that half the advice businesses out there did not multi-tie while new distributors have sprung up.

Now, faced with a tough mortgage climate, several networks are establishing links or seeking to move their advisers. Some big adviser networks have been doing this for years. They are experienced on both sides of the fence so the support in helping the transition will have that benefit.

Other groups may have never had that experience or be a bit behind the times, having left the investment world several years ago for the mortgage boom.

The move makes business sense but even if times are tough it should not be done with a sense of panic or haste. Missales, usually through lack of experience rather than intent, are the last thing anyone needs. But if the move increases distribution of savings and investments without this downside, then it should be welcomed. As for IFAs, we are sure they can cope with the competition. But please, new entrants, please get it right.

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