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Advisers attack Standard over clawback move

Some IFAs fear they will be hit twice if Standard Life moves to claw back commission on with-profits policies after the firm promised to offer policyholders the chance to reconsider.

At the time of announcing its strategic review, Standard said it would be writing to with-profits policyholders who had taken out policies after November 16, 2003, offering them the chance to reconsider.

However, some IFAs say their advice may have been made to look flawed in the eyes of the client, potentially losing them business, and the loss of commission would be a double blow.

Others suggest that Standard would be justified in clawing back the payment, saying that if the advice was right before Standard&#39s announcement, it should still be right now and if it is not clawed back, advisers could rebroke the business to earn two lots of commission.

Standard says it is still finalising the review process but it will comply with FSA guidance on the issue. The FSA says that usually when business is cancelled, commission is clawed back.

Bankhall director of provider management Jonathan White says it is currently talking to Standard about the issue on behalf of its members.

White says: “Clearly, as a responsible business, we do not want the client to lose out and we do not want the IFA to lose out as the policies were sold in good faith.”

Andrew Oliver & Co principal Andrew Oliver says: “The IFA has spent time researching the market and making a recommendation. It is Standard Life which is moving the goalposts, so why should we be penalised?”

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