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Canary spies came in from Cold War, says Treasury official

Industry speculation over the FSA&#39s attitude to polarisation reform is akin to Cold War experts&#39 attempts to interpret the mood of the Soviet leadership, says a senior Treasury official.

Treasury savings and investment products team member Keith Davis damped down talk of a U-turn on CP121 and likened FSA-watchers to the Kremlinologists of the 1960s at a conference in London last week.

Speaking at the conference, Depolarisation: Changing Business Relationships, Davis said the FSA had received over 700 formal responses to CP121 and that no report was expected until autumn. He also reiterated the Treasury&#39s support for a “benchmark standard for a mass-market advice service”.

Davis said: “They were known as Kremlinologists and their expertise lay in seeking to divine the mood in Moscow. Today we have a skilled band of FSA watchers. Some of these Canary-ologists might be among those who, after the FSA&#39s open meeting last year, pooh-poohed the prospects of radical proposals. Now, when the FSA state a consultation process means they are consulting, these FSA watchers see a U-turn.”

LIA public affairs director John Ellis says: “People are fretting over their livelihoods. There is a lot of stake in this consultation, whether it be share prices of big companies or the future of the one-man band. It is not surprising that people are hanging on every word and looking for any sign.”


Fears for tiers

CP121 introduces the concept of a lower tier of financial advisers to provide the mass market with low-cost advice on simple products. However, we at AT Kearney question the overall commercial viability and feasibility of these proposals as they appear to fall down on three levels.First, the commission that can be earned on simple Catmarked […]

Volatility brings big rise in regular Isa savings

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Tiner proposes &#39more meaningful&#39 reporting by life offices

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Spanish home bank tracker from N&P

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society is offering a five year bank base rate tracker currently at 5.25 per cent for ex-patriates in Spain and Gibraltar.The tracker, at Bank of England base rate plus 1.25 per cent, is available for purchases or remortgages of a main home, holiday property or retirement residence in Gibraltar and the […]


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