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Advisers fear being forced into multi-ties

IFAs believe major life offices are planning to dominate the market,

forcing independent advisers into becoming de facto multi-ties.

The fear emerged at the PIMS thinktank on polarisation. IFAs believe big

insur-ers are aiming to take con-trol of the market and take away IFAs&#39


Although advisers agreed most of their business is written with fewer than

15 providers, many felt not having the pick of the entire market would

inhibit innovation and lead to an uncompetitive marketplace.

One IFA said: “I can see a situation where life offices say to IFAs, we

will only do business with you if you guarantee us a set percentage of your


Delegates also believed consumers remain confused about the status of

advisers and underlined the importance of communicating independence and

its value to clients.

LIA president Peter Sprung argued for the rules on polarisation to remain

unchanged as any further alterations would leave clients even more baffled

at the difference between independent financial advice, tied agents and


He said: “People are starting to understand the difference between

independents and tied. Any change would undo years of education.”

Aifa director general Paul Smee says the biggest issue IFAs wanted to

discuss at this year&#39s PIMS was regulation.

Smee met individually with dozens of independent advisers at the event,

many of whom had regulation at the top of their agenda.

But in spite of fears concerning the increasing compliance burden,

advisers were reporting increased business levels, with many looking

forward to expanding their businesses in the coming year.

Smee says: “We at Aifa need to make sure the environment is right for that



Technology Fund offer extended

Close Brothers Investment will extend the offer on its First Close Technology Fund due to the positive reception it has received so far. In the three weeks since the fund&#39s launch, the company says it has attracted £4m in investments. The offer will be extended until June 30 in a bid to raise £10m to […]

IFAP gives facts on endowments

IFA Promotion has produced a consumer factsheet designed to dispel themyths about endowment-linked mortgages.Its publication follows the recent BBC Panorama programme about mortgageendowments although IFAP says it was working on the factsheet before thedocumentary was broadcast.The factsheet, Confused about Endowments?, explains how the plans work ina question and answer format.It deals with the endowment review […]

Don&#39t be burnt at stakeholder

It will be a criminal offence for any employer with more than fiveemployees not to have some form of pension provision in force for mostoftheir workforce before autumn next year.Those entitled to join a stakeholder scheme include anybody who has workedfor the employer for more than six months, earns over the lower earningslimit for National […]

AssureWeb in bid to boost business with online data

AssureWeb is aiming to give IFAs greater access to product informationfrom some of the software company&#39s major contributors.Life offices CGU, Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Skandia and Legal &General will make more of their key product features available to AssureWebso IFAs will be able to conduct a greater degree of their business online.AssureWeb has 7,000 IFA […]

When is £1m not £1m?

Neil Jones is technical support manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Canada Life offers a range of wealth management solutions, including retirement income planning, estate planning and investment solutions from a choice of jurisdictions, including the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. The residential nil-rate band (RNRB) was first announced in […]


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