View more on these topics

Abbey and Standard clash on A-Day plans

Prestbury Financial is launching a whole-of-market IFA business in January, which aims to double its number of RIs from 200 within a year.

The IFA arm will predominantly be a call-centre operation which is
targeting a 60/40split between phone-based and face-to-face sales.
Commission and fee-based charging structures will be offered although
the latter option is most likely to appeal to face-to-face clients
who will typically be more complex cases.

Prestbury Financial chief executive Lee Birkett says the firm will
launch with 200 RIs but he expects this to double to 400 by the end
of the year. He says the group is being selective in the IFA firms it
signs up and will not touch firms pulling in less than 50,000 a
year in new business.

It will be a sister company to the group’s newspaper referral
business, which has tie-ups with the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph,
The Times and Express, among others,and its mortgage network,
Solutions Network. Referrals are also expected from the network.

Birkett says Prestbury has invested millions of pounds in technology
to enable online valuations and reduce costs. He says: “We are
launching a whole-of-market business. The only reason to multi-tie is
for commercial gain not for the consumer’s benefit. A lot of our
business will be call-centre-based.”

An A-Day row has broken out between Abbey and Standard Life, with
Abbey claiming Standard’s Sipp is inflexible and does not support
phased benefits while Standard says Abbey is pushing unsuitable

Abbey for Intermediaries head of pensions and retirement Mike Brown
says Standard’s Sipp is restrictive as investors will only be able to
withdraw tax-free cash once. Brown says if policyholders do not take
the full amount, that allowance will be lost after A-Day because the
Sipp is structured as a segmented arrangement.

Abbey is presently marketing its section 32 product heavily, which is
a clustered arrangement that supports self-investment and enables
holders to phase benefits.

But Standard Life senior technical manager John Lawson says that
encouraging investors to transfer into a section 32, particularly
from an occupational pension scheme, is irresponsible when a number
of rules surrounding pension simplification remain unclear. Lawson
says Sipp investors can protect tax-free cash in a number of ways,
such as through signing up a spouse and carrying out a bulk transfer
allowable after A-Day for Sipps but not for section 32s which are
one-person schemes.

He also points out that section 32s lack the investment flexibility
of Sipps, such as the ability to hold property.

Lawson says: “This is product-pushing at its very worst and Abbey is
effectively encouraging advisers to give bad advice. We are saying,
wait until 2006.”

Brown says: “Clients need to be in the right place before A-Day and
Standard Life’s argument is tenuous.”


Woolwich cherry picks winning indices

Woolwich Plan Managers has introduced cherry picker issue 1, a guaranteed equity bond linked to a weighted basket of three stockmarket indices over a five-year term.


CML says Hips are nowhere near readyThe CML says home information packs are nowhere near ready for implementation and is calling on the Government to undertake a realistic assessment of the cost of Hips. The Government expects Hips to be available from January 2007.

Sticking to valuation discipline when investing in China

Journalist Alexis Xydias discusses the opportunities – and potential pitfalls – of investing in China with Artemis fund manager Peter Saacke. With Peter holding significant positions in China in the Artemis funds he manages, journalist Alexis Xydias quizzes Peter on the risks of investing in Chinese stocks – including over-valuations, margin trading and financial reporting issues. Click here for video


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm