View more on these topics

Consult? More like insult

In the past, I have been an advocate of responding to consultation documents issued by Government or regulator. After all, I think it rather hypocritical not to respond and then to complain about changes after they have been made.

However, it is not my intention to respond to the latest consultation document issued by the FSA on reforming polarisation. I have, sadly, concluded that there is no point. The tone and inference of the document demonstrate that the important decisions have already been made.

This is not so much a consultation document as a slap in the face for all of us who have tried over the past 13 years to reform an important service industry.

The Government decided some time ago that it wished to exercise control over the financial services world and has used its lapdog to do it.

Product providers are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of taking back distribution channel control through multi-ties, sorry, distributor firms.

The real losers are not the IFAs. Some will remain independent and adapt and restructure accordingly. Many will decide that the easier option is to give up their independence to continue to work on a commission basis.

The real losers will be the public. They will remain confused and be victims of a structure where advisers will pretend to be independent but won&#39t be.

At a stroke, the FSA has set back financial services to the times when soft loans, high commission and sales conventions were all important and where the customer did not matter at all. The flawed and inadequate research masquerading as strong reasons for this change only adds insult to injury.

The individuals behind this disgrace of a document should hang their heads in shame. They will not, of course. That would be too much to expect.

Nick Bamford Informed Choice,




Tied ebbs and flows as firms ponder choices

IFAs and product providers are split on how to adapt their businesses to take into account the FSA&#39s polarisation proposals but independent advice looks set to continue.Among the providers, Zurich says it is not interested in multi-tying, saying it is happy with its current distribution methods. Standard Life says it has no plans to enter […]

Cut against the bias

One of the primary arguments made in the FSA&#39s consultation paper 121 which proposes scrapping polarisation is that there is commission bias at work in the IFA sector.It uses this as justification for a radical overhaul of the way that independent advisers are remunerated, which would force IFAs to charge fees and rebate commission.However, the […]

&#39Fee increase may see 10% leave DBS&#39

DBS could lose up to 10 per cent of its members in the wake of last month&#39s 30 per cent fee hike, says a City analyst.It claims Misys&#39 IFA operations will be hit by increased competition from IFA service providers such as Bankhall getting significant backing from major product providers.The Commerzbank analyst&#39s report, seen by […]

Amex unites advice and online trading

American Express is incorporating its independent financial advice arm with its fund supermarket and sharetrading platform Sharepeople, making it one of the first platforms to bring together advice and online trading.Amex has 10 IFAs available to Sharepeople customers over the phone. The firm is believed to be looking to expand its IFA business following discussions […]


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