View more on these topics

Barking up the wrong tree?

Pull the other one, Sir Howard. The chief regulator says decision trees are designed for use by advisers with clients. IFAs now know they were wrong to oppose trees all along. Rather than a desperate attempt to cut IFAs out of pensions, they were meant to make life easier.

A suspicious mind might say the trees went through the usual process. An idea is passed to the regulator which develops it, then once it is exposed to the punters, refines it. When finalised, you have something useful for the well-informed and hazardous for the ill-informed. It adds to the sum of understanding and misunderstanding but does not alter investor behaviour.

It gives birth to some very bizarre concepts such as tree walkers – surely climbers – while with league tables, the regulatory cousin of trees, it leads the FSA to jump through hoops to prove that past performance is no guide to the future although it doesn&#39t really know. The trees become a flowchart of debatable usefulness and league tables a slightly misleading price list although both can work with a qualified adviser.

But what is this rustling in the undergrowth? Is there something slightly tall, wooden and leafy about the new mortgage filters?

Perhaps now that trees have failed to inspire consumers directly, they will aid and abet low-cost advisers.

If this is the case, should we object? If the FSA is prepared to genuinely test the proposals to see if they work and pilot them to prove that trees, filters and tables cannot be abused by unscrupulous hard-sell merchants, then no. But if the new concept is untested, then yes. In that case, the trees are fine but only with qualified advisers.


Friends Provident International mixes it with unit-linked bond

Type: Unit-linked bond Aim: Growth by investing in a choice of with-profit fund (series 5), managed, UK index tracker, open managed portfolio, international stewardship, UK equity growth, stewardship ethical, global equity, North American growth, European growth, Far East growth, fixed interest, cash deposit, protected global growth, secure growth portfolio, balanced portfolio, managed portfolio and growth […]

Final-salary plans show generosity on transfer values

Transferring out of final-salary pension schemes on valuations based on the minimum funding requirement leaves members short-changed but a growing number of schemes are paying more than they are legally bound, a survey shows.Over half of big final-salary schemes are calculating transfer values in excess of the minimum required under the Pensions Act 1995, according […]

Close Property Investment targets healthcare and leisure opportunities

Close Property Investment has created the healthcare and leisure property fund, an offshore Oeic that invests in the hotel, care home, house building and leisure sectors. The fund is registered in the Isle of Man and co-invests alongside the Close Brothers venture capital trust (VCT) and the Close Brothers protected VCT. It aims to provide […]

JPMorgan shuffles team

JPMorgan Fleming is restructuring its European equities team of 40 after former head of European equities Andrew Spencer was appointed chief investment officer of JPMorgan Funds&#39 retail business in the US.Spencer will take up his new position in December. William Meadon, who has managed segregated funds for the European equities team over the past seven […]

Guide front cover - thumbnail

Guide: how to… audit your auto-enrolment scheme compliance

As the Pensions Regulator starts to bare its teeth and the changes mentioned in the Budget and Queen’s Speech start to come into force, it is essential that you understand your scheme and the processes you need to undertake to ensure it remains compliant. Our second re-enrolment guide looks at how to audit the key areas of your auto-enrolment scheme.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm