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Alliance unites to back advice

The ABI, Autif, AITC, Aifa and Apcims have formed an unprecedented alliance in a bid to ensure Ron Sandler recognises the value of financial advice in his review.

In a joint letter, the five director generals – the ABI&#39s Mary Francis, Autif&#39s Richard Saunders, Apcims&#39 Angela Knight, the AITC&#39s Daniel Godfrey and Aifa&#39s Paul Smee – say there is “one issue of such central importance to us all that we want to jointly record our views with you”. They say financial advice will be crucial in delivering the increase in take-up of financial products the Government is aiming for.

They also warn there is a danger that charge caps or standardising products will make quality advice more expensive and only accessible to a minority. It says regulation of advice should not be so onerous to make it impossible.

This week, it is also revealed that one of the ABI&#39s key Sandler proposals is to broaden the FSA&#39s mandate to make it directly responsible for helping to promote savings.

Smee says: “Advice is a truly important factor in delivering financial products. Our message is do not rule it out, do not make it impossible.”

The Consumers&#39 Association&#39s response to Sandler strongly defends the benefits of independent financial advice. It also calls for new forms of distributing advice through institutions and a lower status of generic adviser.

Sandler responses, p2

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