View more on these topics

Becks to the future

As David Beckham negotiates his image rights, maybe IFAs could take his lead and focus on the image of advice.

Recent activity in the depolarisation debate simply underlines the need for a permanent IFA lobby. Before you cry: “Isn&#39t this the role of the trade bodies?”, yes it is, but the current bodies – Aifa, the LIA and the ABI – have many functions, with lobbying just one of them. Perhaps they are too widely spread over too many functions.

What we need is the effective delivery of the message that advice is central to the Government&#39s wish to encourage all individuals to take responsibility for their own income in retirement. To do this, we need to stop all these daft campaigns such as “£Xbn in tax relief lost” and look at taking the Oliver Wyman study and breaking it into easily digestible facts.

I say daft campaigns as the way to obtain these reliefs often entails transferring assets between husband and wife and, as an IFA heavily involved in pensions and divorce, I can tell you that the involuntary transfer of assets is hard enough without doing it from choice.

Our lobby has to be distinct from the product providers and cannot receive money from anyone other than the people who dispense advice to the general public. Taking funds from those with a different agenda is not conducive to an effective lobby of the powers that be.

It has been clear that many in power do not recognise the effect that high-quality advice can have and perhaps the unwillingness of the sector as a whole to push for a professional standard for advisers has simply allowed the devaluation of advice in the eyes of those who make the policy.

We must also ensure that the public understand the way in which we are required to give advice. Compliance is something that we, the advi-sers, recognise as non-optional but many of the public do not realise just how much needs to be done in order to comply. If they did, I am sure many would seek to contract out of regulated sales and perhaps this is an angle that we should pursue with the regulators, Ron Sandler and the rest.

The need for an IFA lobby will become even more apparent when the definitions of “authorised financial adviser” and “independent financial adviser” are finally settled.I, for one, believe that it will be difficult for IFAs/AFAs to make our point against the effective lobby from the bancassurers as the rules come up for comment. But comment we must if the voice of the adviser is to be heard before it is all put in place.

The power of the bank lobby is there for all to see, from stakeholder pensions to the market review we find ourselves in today.

To set up such a lobby takes three things – money, commitment and someone with a wish to speak out in a form which attracts positive PR. If we want this effective voice, then perhaps you could let me have an electronic show of hands as to those willing to contribute.

I am not suggesting something with a secretariat and high fixed costs but a collective where output is more important than logos or egos. My email address is at the foot of the column.

If David Beckham is the image that many children aspire to, perhaps we can tag on as the people who can give them the financial wherewithal to achieve that goal.

After all, given our skills, I am sure most of us can, in financial planning terms, “Bend it like Beckham”.


Rothschild Asset Management – Five Arrows Income Fund

Tuesday, 7 May 2002 Type: Oeic Aim: Income by investing in UK and European corporate bonds Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,000, monthly £50 Place of registration: Guernsey Investment split: AAA rated corporate bonds 20%, AA 30%, A 20%, BBB 30% Yield: 7.4% gross a year Isa link: No Charges: Initial A shares 3%, annual 1%. […]

Norwich and Peterborough – Five Year Fixed Rate Bond

Wednesday, May 8, 2002Type: High interest accountMinimum-maximum investment: £1,000-£500,000Interest rates: 5.4% gross a year, 5.27% gross a monthTerm: Five yearsOffer period: Until further noticeWithdrawal penalties: No penalty provided £1,000 remains in thebond. Otherwise 180 days’ loss of interest on amountwithdrawnTel: 0845 3002511

Halifax says depolarisation should cover whole market

The need for clarity and an explanation of the impact of the FSA&#39s polarisation review on the mortgage industry are the key issues raised in Halifax&#39s response.The bank says previous rounds of consultation tackled its main concern about intermediary advice not being regulated but now it believes the biggest question is whether the depolarised model […]

Cazalet in bonus warning over Equitable &#39conjuring&#39

Influential life analyst Ned Cazalet has slammed Equitable Life&#39s “Tommy Cooper” annual accounts, claiming there is little prospect of policyholders getting bonuses in the future.Equitable&#39s annual report for 2001 says the society has changed actuarial assumptions to notionally inflate the bonus account by £850m. But commentators say this is not new money and without this […]


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