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Chancellor and the FSA have opened door to misbuying

This Chancellor of the Exchequer who vowed not to let misselling happen again has sanctioned another pensions free-for-all.

At least the waiting is over. The veiled threat that has hung over the industry for the last three years is now an explicit one.

The Treasury has identified polarisation as standing in the way of its flagship pension so it has to go. It is a panic measure designed to boost a badly designed pension which is still set to fail because, initially at least, no one can make any money from it. Now the Government is set to allow a misbuying scandal to match the 1980s&#39 misselling.

The FSA has done little to boost our confidence that it is anything other than the Treasury&#39s poodle. It has sailed close to the wind on its statutory duty to consumers. It has an argument because this first panic move allowing stakeholder multi-ties is on heavily regulated products.

But it has failed to appreciate or decided to ignore the fact that a simple product within a complex environment for state and private retirement saving remains a minefield for consumers. As for decision trees, both Government and FSA are sticking to the belief they can work. We are convinced time will show they are wrong.

But they are not listening and Money Marketing fears the momentum may lead to the axing of the entire system.

For IFAs, we have two pieces of advice. First, they must back their representatives to the hilt as they try to talk some sense into the regulator. Second, they must get on with offering the highest standard of financial advice in the UK. If they do this, they can survive any challenge.


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