The equity-release market should not be worried by the lack of intermediaries selling the product, says Equity Advice head Stuart Wilson.In recent months, the market has been plagued by concerns that a lack of advisers is hindering growth but Wilson insists that the main priority is getting more providers with consumer-facing arms into the sector to build consumer confidence and brokers can then follow. He also believes that direct players are more advanced in terms of their understanding of the market. The FSA reported in July that too many advisers that dabble in the market are not selling in the correct manner which is putting consumers at risk, while high-street names such as HSBC, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland have entered the market on a direct-basis only. There have been a number of initiatives over the past few months to get more IFAs on board. These include Key Retirement Solutions’ Lifetime Advisory Services initiative, which will see LAS train individual advisers, and a similar scheme set up by EA. Wilson says: “Intermediaries are not quite where the direct players are just yet. The intermediary market is still in nappies and direct players are teenagers, if you compare it with the more mature mortgage market. “Let the direct players flourish and the rest will follow. It is a positive thing that RBS and HSBC are involved, although I do not like the prices being quoted, but the fact that they are in, is great.”
The LibDems will not advocate scrapping inheritance tax but are looking at measures such as axing the gift rules in an attempt to make the tax fairer. Speaking at a tax commission debate in Brighton, Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said the basic principles of IHT were “hard to quarrel with” but he would be looking […]
Legal & General has launched an interactive underwriting service on its protection products range which is an addition to its existing online processing system. The system is designed to be used by advisers when they are in contact with clients either via telephone or face to face. It was rolled out to the whole of […]
Cofunds made a further loss of 19.5m last year but the platform is upbeat about take-up of its investment bond, which attracted 670m since it launched in April. The company’s retained losses for its first five years total 120m. Finance director Andrew Harris says 9bn in assets are held through the platform and revenue was […]
IFAs must beware of advising clients on “bribes” offered by employers to leave final-salary pension schemes. Syndaxi Financial Planning managing director Robert Reid says firms are effectively trying to bribe staff to quit schemes by offering payouts. He says staff would be worse off and urges the FSA to investigate if employers are carrying out […]
Alex Ralph, manager of the Artemis High Income Fund, sees further pressure on government bonds as inflationary pressures build on both sides of the Atlantic.
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