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Ainsworth Says Sandler review is biased

Threadneedle deputy chairman Alan Ainsworth has launched a scathing attack on the Sandler consultation, saying it is misfocused and biased.

Speaking at Cadogan International&#39s annual unit trust and investment fund conference on Tuesday, Ainsworth said the Sandler consultation had focused on three examples of market inefficiency – lack of consumer experience, IFA domination and obscure products.

But Ainsworth said he disputed that these were comprehensive, accusing Sandler of painting a “patronising view of consumers” and of missing important points such as the relevance of taxation benefits when recommending higher-commission products.

He said buying investment funds was relatively simple compared with much more common consumer activities such as buying a PC or understanding mobile phone tariffs.

The Sandler review questions the UK&#39s reliance on the intermediary channel, suggesting that consumers seek advice because they lack time and expertise to shop around. But Ainsworth said all the world&#39s most sophisticated markets contradict this as they are moving towards advice-dominated channels.

He said: “Having convinced themselves of information asymmetry, they say that direct buying is lower than it should be. I think this is based on an out-of-date view of the US.

“Direct buying in the US is decreasing very rapidly and advisers have emerged as the main channel. All the international information I have suggests advice is growing.”


Brown&#39s pre-budget report on November 27

Chancellor Gordon Brown will announce today he will deliver his Pre-Budget report in two weeks time on November 27. It is expected Brown will provide more details about the savings gateway and the child trust fund on the day.


Opinion poll

The report (Money Marketing, October 25) that Marlborough Stirling&#39s research has found that 53 per cent of people prefer not to meet their financial adviser in person flies in the face of general perceptions. It also contradicts other (perhaps more disinterested) research studies as well. Typically, you would expect to find that some 70 per […]

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What am I to do with extra cash from endowment?

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