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Catmark by IFAs could help consumer understanding

Royal London and its marketing division Scottish Life is taking a stance against the FSA&#39s view that only IFAs operating under a defined-payment system can be classed as independent.

The group&#39s response to CP121, Reforming Polarisation, says it is market choice, best value and product suitability that characterise independence, not the method of payment.

Rather than benefiting consumers, Royal London believes the abolition of polarisation will cause the IFA sector to shrink considerably, narrowing choice. It estimates as many as 70 to 80 per cent IFAs would become distributor firms, probably AFAs, so they can receive commission.

It says a risk of depolarisation not identified by the FSA is that IFAs switching to multi-tie status may churn consumers into contracts of their preferred multi-tie provider.

It suggests an alternative to the FSA taking a rule-based approach to controlling the use of the word “independent” is for the IFA sector to develop its own Catmarking standard.

It claims such a standard would allow advisers to differentiate themselves to consumers without the complication of FSA rules.

Scottish Life chief executive Brian Duffin says: “We do not think commission is incompatible with independence. The most important thing is that consumers understand what type of service an adviser is offering. How they pay for that service is a separate matter.”


An agenda for health

Head of sales and marketing, Standard Life HealthcareThere is not one person working anywhere in the financial services industry who is unaffected by the Budget announcements regarding Nat-ional Insurance increases and healthcare funding.At a commercial level, it is impossible to carry out full financial planning without at least a nod in the direction of healthcare […]

Misys supports abolition of polarisation

Misys supports the complete abolition of polarisation but is warning the FSA that the defied payment system is unworkable and impossible to police.It warns CP121 will restrict access to financial products rather than accomplishing its stated objective of opening the market up to consumers.

New non-exec director at Chelsea Building Society

Chelsea Building Society has announced the appointment of a new non-executive director. Jean Irvine, who is currently a non-executive board adviser within the Ministry of Defence and a member of the British Computer Society, joined the Society following her approval by the FSA last week. Until 2001, Irvine worked in a variety of senior roles […]

Outside edge: David Ferguson

One of the first major issues to emerge from CP121 was the defined-payment system that must be adopted by those advisers wishing to remain truly independent, essentially requiring the charging of fees for giving independent financial advice.It is this measure more than most that has led to the capital conundrums that have arisen for many […]

The Natixis Solution: H2O MultiReturns Fund

A product designed to bring some unique attributes to the crowded absolute return global macro space With diversification and risk management top of investors’ wish lists when it comes to alternatives, step forward the H2O MultiReturns Fund. H2O Asset Management is an independent boutique backed by Natixis Global Asset Management and has a 14-year track […]


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