View more on these topics

Consumer assassination

I refer to Terence O’Halloran’s letter attacking Dianne Hayter (MM, 18 August).

I would be interested to know his reasons for concluding that consumers would be better off without representation by a consumer panel.

He mentions the disappearance of defined-benefit pension schemes. How does he think that relates to consumer representation, particularly when most consumer bodies would like to see a reversal of the decline in numbers of such schemes?

From what I have read, the decline is more to do with poor investment performance and employers’ reluctant to increase contributions.

As for with-profit endowments, or with-profits in general, in the minds of most people it is chiefly distinguished by the incredible lack of transparency, it is clearly not for customers to understand what counts as a legitimate profit for the fund or a legitimate expense of the insurance company.

Insurance companies have more formal and legally defined duties to their shareholders and distributors than to their customers and the pattern of their actions as far as it can be judged from the outside is consistent with this – the customers get crumbs at the discretion of the with-profits provider.

From my understanding of corporate life, the existence of what, in the eyes of too many insurers, is little more than a slush fund is useful to get things to happen, for example, subsidise stakeholder pension commission, when otherwise paralysis would occur it strains credibility to believe that this effect acts consistently in the interest of customers.

In another world, major suppliers would work closely with consumer panels to understand how customers and suppliers could act together to remove waste. When suppliers and their distributors / IFAs reject attempts by or on behalf of customers, I think we are entitled to smell a rat.

As for his character assassination on consumerists, I am sure many of us will recognise that the phrases “self-serving, highly paid, self-aggrandising” could be far more accurately applied to some IFAs we know.

Aidan WardFair Money


Mort Intelligence in deal with UCB

Mortgage Intelligence is linking with UCB Home Loans in a semi-exclusive deal on its self-cert one-year fixed rate of 4.79 per cent. The rate has a 330 completion fee and 75 reservation fee and is available up to 85 per cent LTV. This deal is shared with Pink and Mortgage Next. Mortgage Intelligence managing director […]

17% Of over-55s say lifetime loans could fund retirement

Millions of pensioners’ retirements are being jeopardised by the unexpected costs that come after they stop working, says Prudential. It says 3.75 million pensioners are struggling to live the life they expected. Prudential says that for the average person in the over-55s category, the “magic sum” that would make a real difference to their retirement […]

JPMAM restructures UK sales team

JPMorgan Asset Management has re-structured its UK sales team.Alex Barry has been appointed as head of UK distributor sales with a team of three reporting to him, while Dan Mannix has been appointed head of JPMAM’s wholesale channel. He will oversee sales to discretionary clients.


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