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ABI bid to halt daily stakeholder admin

The ABI is making an 11th-hour bid to convince the Department of Social Security that forcing providers to calculate daily stakeholder charges will pile on extra costs for no consumer benefit.

Life offices argue the plans to make them detail daily calculations on stakeholder statements will require them to overhaul their computer systems, costing millions but confusing clients.

The DSS has opened the door to the ABI to put forward its case to change planned legislation which calls for providers to set up systems det- ailing all charges explicitly on a daily basis.

The clock is ticking on the proposed changes, with the final version of stakeholder regulations due next month but the DSS has given providers a last chance to prove their case.

It is also feared that the changes will mean many life offices will have to overhaul the systems they have already been developing for stakeholder, bringing substantial extra charges.

The life offices which are most opposed to the move include Standard Life and Scottish Equitable. Standard Life senior technical manager Margaret Craig says: “I fail to see how having hundreds of lines of figures will do anything other than use up more paper. It could be counter-productive and only serve to confuse.”

Scottish Equitable pensions development manager Steven Cameron says: “It will prove costly at a time when we are working hard to keep down costs within 1 per cent.”

ABI spokesman Malcolm Tarling says: “Our members are not convinced this will add to investors&#39 understanding. The DSS has asked us to gather evidence to justify our position that this will not add value. We believe this could cause our members a costly administrative headache.”

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