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‘ABI pursuing anti-advice agenda’

Aifa has attacked the ABI’s proposals for the retail distribution review, accusing it of being against advisers and losing sight of consumers.

Director general Chris Cummings says the ABI is pursuing a “very clear agenda that is anti-advice, anti-adv-iser and working against the consumer”.

He says the ABI is so worried about persistency levels that it is trying to lock consumers into long-term products and to cut advice out of the equation to keep them away from market innovations.

Cummings says a number of life company chief executives have told him they do not support the ABI’s stance.

He says: “It has lost sight of what is in the best interests of the consumer. That is always dangerous. Every trade body’s members only exist to service the consumer and the ABI’s stance is deeply disappointing.”

Cummings also says he is “surprised and disappoin-ted” by recent comments from the FSA suggesting that the industry needs to think more “deeply” about the issue of independence.

He says it appears that the industry has not given the FSA the answer it wants so it will keep asking until it gets the right answer, undermining the FSA’s suggestion that the review is industry-led.

Cummings says: “The FSA is either an honest broker, consulting the industry, putting its views out and taking its word for it or they are not an honest broker and are operating to an agenda.”

He brands the FSA’s paper on capital adequacy and PI requirements the “worst consultation or discussion paper I have ever read”, saying it shows a lack of understanding of the market.

For more RDR news, visit www.moneymarketing. co.uk/rdr.

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