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Bamford accuses Barclays of multi-tie confusion

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford is accusing Barclays Financial Planning of confusing its customers by implying that its multi-tie proposition is whole of market.

Barclays will launch an advice service for its UK retail customers in the summer to take advantage of depolarisation. Its panel will consist of Axa, Friends Provident, Legal & General, Norwich Union, Prudential and Standard Life.

Bamford says claims made by Barclays that these providers constitute the “best available” after “searching the whole of the market” will confuse customers. He says: “This is exactly the kind of pseudoindependent statement that is going to lead customers into believing that Barclays offers whole of market advice. The FSA must crack down on this.”

Barclays Financial Planning managing director Jim Reeve says: “We considered what we deemed the best providers in each area based on strict criteria. Our service will be on a par with an IFA’s service. This IFA obviously feels threatened by the service we will provide.”

Beachcroft Wansborough managing director Richard Hobbs says: “The risk with multi-ties is they overstate their position. It is possible for a multi-tied intermediary to break principles in the FSA handbook.”

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