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B&B equalises commission in anti-bias bid

Bradford & Bingley is equalising the commission it pays to its advisers for selling lump-sum investment and mortgage products.

B&B will pay advisers the same commission for any product sold, including with-profits bonds and unit trusts, but it will not affect the existing terms of remuneration between the bank itself and product providers.

It says that the decision is aimed at countering allegations of commission bias towards certain products. The bank believes it will demonstrate to customers that the advice they receive is impartial and is not swayed by commission.

The Treasury plans an investigation into retail investment, styled on Gartmore chairman Paul Myners&#39 report on the institutional market, because of fears about commission bias by advisers.

B&B is overseeing the £163.10m transition of branches into independent financial advice centres, to be rebranded The MarketPlace at Bradford & Bingley.

The equal commission is understood to be one of the main selling points of the B&B rebrand.

Commercial director Ian Darby says: “We have ensured that the individual does not benefit or be disadvantaged by different commercial terms we may have. Our proposition is giving our customers trust in what we do.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “The reasoning behind equalising commission for those at the sharp end is to prevent any distinguishing between products on the basis of commission and this must be applauded.

“Behind the scenes, it is possible that one provider pays more commission than another but the way B&B&#39s panel works appears very robust.”

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