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Consumer Panel calls for MAS to “push regulatory boundaries”

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has called for the Money Advice Service to “push regulatory boundaries” and deliver more to customers than merely “signposting”.

It has urged the MAS to provide “information and guidance as well as generic advice”.

In a position paper on the retail distribution review, published today, the FSCP called for the MAS to deliver more for consumers.

The paper says: “We have always been supportive of MAS and are keeping a watching brief on its progress. Although we have some early concerns, we would like it to push regulatory boundaries so that it can go beyond merely signposting, which unless links to other parties are quick and effective is likely to frustrate rather than answer consumers needs.

“So we will continue to encourage MAS to deliver more for consumers in this area than it has felt able to do to date.”

The FSCP also raised concerns that customers may be increasingly offered execution-only services post-RDR, if the new regulatory regime creates an “advice gap” as is widely expected.

The FSCP says: “We have also been concerned that consumers may increasingly be offered ‘execution-only’ services. While for many this will be absolutely right, for some it could lead to poor choices and poor outcomes.

“The banks may readily step in as a natural access point to this market, but given their past behaviours, we have not been convinced of this as a solution so far.”

In January 2011, Money Marketing revealed Barclays was closing its advice arm, Barclays Financial Planning, saying it will not be profitable after the RDR.

Barclays continues to offer advice to high-net-worth clients through Barclays Wealth but no longer gives retail clients advice through its branch network. It also offers an execution-only service through Barclays Stockbrokers.



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There are 25 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Exasperated Me 22nd May 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The regulatory boundaries have been pushed quite enough because the MAS isn’t regulated!!

    No FOS, no FSCS, no rules or regulations, no PI.

    If MAS gets it wrong who pays?

  2. QUANGOs must stick together in the trying times!

  3. At least someone has now admitted that there will be a gap post RDR and the general public will suffer as a result.

    Allowing MASto give advice is not the answer and I am not going to pay for their advice failures

  4. Daphnie Jenkins-Smyth 22nd May 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Level playing field, the financial services consumer panel shout shut the front door and go do something they are good at……which is sitting about talking bullpoop whilst trying to dismantel our industry piece by piece.

    agree totally with exasperated me MAS gets it wrong have the FSA set up a contingency fund for the misselling or missbuying fines on the back of the information or “advice” given or will it just be a hike in fees again for the industry to cover this sham

  5. Tag Spitliffe 22nd May 2012 at 1:02 pm

    this will end in tears….there will only be an advice gap because of RDR and the number of adviser chucking it in.

    to much haa haa pretty soon boo hoo – this is what the MAS is, a big pile of monkey farmers who talk a load of pee pods

  6. More idiots who pick fruit from the money tree!

    Maybe they would like some instructions on how to plant one, because they clearly do not grasp the fundamentals of how money is created!?

    My fee for them is £150 per hour plus VAT of course!


    The RDR experiment has turned into an un-guided nucler warhead and its heading for the centre of Moscow and the fall out will be irreversable. MAS will not and will never be the answer it will just exacerbate the whole thing.

    I am so glad my hard earned money is being well spent.

  8. Interesting. Personally I hope they go the full monty and give advice. Should have us all in stitches for years to come.

  9. I’ve a great way to solve the advice/savings gap.

    How about product providers paying people to distribute their products. Those people would then be motivated to find people with needs to satisfy, just like every other kind of retailer does.

    Any ideas what we could call the payments??!

  10. @Tricia Yates

    Could call that payment “adviser charging”?

  11. All you sycophantic IFAs writing sickly letters to magazines about ‘how I learned to love RDR!!
    Look at the fine mess you have got us in.
    You can do absolutely nothing about this!!
    Bring back the old direct sales force-or in this case ,the weapons of MAS-destruction.
    What a bunch of idiots you all are to believe the FSA and RDR and MAS.

  12. @Anonymous 2.06 pm

    We don’t necessarily love the RDR, FSA or MAS. What we are doing is trying to earn a living, keep our staff and look after our clients. Personally I find your comments deeply offensive and quite frankly childish.

    Like all government departments MAS will grow according to Parkinsons Law, employing more and more people who will need to find things to do. I agree with most of the comments here but I have no idea where MAS will end up or how its existance will effect my business. Either way, we all need to express our concerns whilst still managing our businesses and lives.

  13. stephen rowland 22nd May 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Agree with anoymous 2.06 – All the A** Lickers are now going to get their just desserts!

    More Fees to all the FSA Quangos – less business – because nobody but the rich will be able to afford there inflated (like Solicitors / Accountants Fees) & competition from MAS that the IFA’S indirectly are funding!

    You couldn’t make this mess up!!

    Maybe who-ever thought of RDR had this outcome in mind – though if FSA anything to go by- couldn’t organise a P*** up in a Brewery!

  14. Ken
    So you are going to sit there feeling ‘hurt’ but still not doing anything about the 10’s of ooo’s of disenfranchised clients who you have abandoned in your rush to become qualified, and to be holier than thou by only working for fees.
    I don’t think I would trust you either as a friend or adviser if this is the case.

  15. I feel like getting a job with MAS;

    Getting a regular wage,

    shorter working hours,

    doling out advice,

    If it all goes tots up, no liability and no clawback.

    Wah hey!

  16. Neil F Liversidge 22nd May 2012 at 3:15 pm

    This really is outrageous. Imagine what would happen to us if we suddently started trading outside our permissions? We’d be named shamed and fined in no time. We have to apply – and pay – for every little extra we want to do. Once more the FSCP overstps the mark.

  17. I can’t help feeling that if the IFA community was persuaded to “push the regulatory boundaries” the repercussions would be swift, harsh and uncompromising.
    But then, we are authorised to give advice, aren’t we?
    Mind you, these days we are being told what we can market, what we cannot sell, what advice we can give (flavoured with dire warnings that it will in all probability go horribly wrong) and what we are allowed to say in the service we provide, that there are fewer and fewer arrows left in the quiver.

    And, unlike the MAS who are not authorised to give advice, despite their advertisements, we will be pilloried by the same organisation that deemed us as fit and proper advisers when, despite allour best intentions, research and diligence (as proscribed by that same organisation), it does go wrong.

    Roll on retirement!

  18. Letter from an IFA.
    Dear Susan(or whatever the clients name is)
    We have been together for the last 20 years,I have been at your side and helped and guided you as you have grown up.
    You have bought a number of products from me and I have invested for you,wisely i hope.You have earned me a lot of money to afford my lifestyle.
    Every year we have sat down and done a full review,spending some of my ‘down time’; to make sure I kept you as a loyal client.
    My agreement with you,in writing was to service you and your polices and to carry out regular reviews.
    Thank you for introducing me to your children and relatives.
    As I promised I would always be there when it mattered,even after you had gone!
    Well I am sorry to say I have found somebody else!
    Nothing personal of course,its just that they can afford to pay for my very highly qualified advice and to run my offices and staff and so on.
    I am unable to advise you where to go to get good sound advice and suggest you look on the internet.
    All the best.

  19. @ Tricia, good point.

    Nick, adviser charging is most certainly NOT what it is called!! This is a method by which a ‘client’s’ initial investment capital can be accessed to pay for the advice given. The product provider does not personally ‘pay’ the adviser for distributing the investment.

    No doubt you will wax lyrical in response, quoting that commission is a part of a client’s investment also, whether factored or otherwise, but again, this is not the issue.

    The point remains, how WILL the distributor pay the adviser for its products to be distributed?

  20. For those who have not seen my posts re MAS before ask your MP how on earth (alledgedly Fraudulant) A4E have been given Millions of pounds to give advise (which they say Isnt advise) useing none qualified advisers who are not regulated by anyone, £20k plus pensions and expences paid by us to compeate with us!

    Oh and thier Chairperson has stepped down as a Government adviser bBecause of the allegations but still picked up over £8 million pounds in dividends, Just put in (Google) A4E Fraud and see how many hits you find. I think the press should be hounding the FSA and MAS to find out exactly what service A4E are giving!

  21. Sorry I’m confused surely the regulator created RDR to have some positive outcomes and now we have one of the new regulator’s complaining that the structure is too restrictive and will have undesirable outcomes!!!

    If they’re concerned about execution only business than BAN IT and support advice services that are already there rather than creating a Quango which will cost the industry a fortune.

    I wish AIFA would grow a set and take the regulator to court over the MAS as I believe it breaks the current set of regulations and certainly breaks the new RDR regulations.

    If the regulator wants to create a new industry and they have to support the great independent advisers rather than always undermining them and trying to put them out of business. Believe it or not I am a great supporter of RDR but the regulator cannot whinge about the un-desirable outcomes it has helped create when it hadn’t listened to the industry. If it wants our support then start listening to what we have to say and stop banks selling products on a wholesale style without any regulation whatsoever, that’s a non-advice service for you, which they’ve been pushing for the last five years.

  22. Pushing regulatory boundaries will result in mis advice. I feel another interim levy in the offing.
    This time I am definitely NOT paying.

  23. Tricia has articulated what many real-world advisers know and have been saying for ages.

    @Nick Bamford. Nick, if I look back on the stakeholder experiment I can see Aviva and L&G both telling the government that they could make money out of it if they achieved critical mass. This in the knowledge that it would take 13 years for them to make a profit on such a plan. When they failed to achieve critical mass and started seeing massive losses building up they hacked at the already modest commission until arranging such a plan became prohibitive and effectivelt charity work.

    My regular contribution pension business fell by 95% between 1997 and 2002 and has never recovered. Why is this? because originally i was incentivised to seek out clients who needed to save for their futures. Having the distribution cost within the product enabled me to approach them in the knowledge that, psychologically, they would not be deterred by thoughts of fees and whatnot.

    This is not possible under the new regimebecause despite the adviser fee it involves a discussion about fees which any psychologist will aver to be a negative.

    Surely we are in the businessof encouraging consumers to save, insure and balance their finances? Any regulator that takes off its consumer-engraved visors will see that commission is the greatest incentiviser there is.

    Working to adapt the existing system would have been massively easier and far cheaper than the farago that is currently being imposed.

  24. The FSA was set up by Gordon Brown. What were the first things he did when becoming Chancellor?

    1) Windfall TAX on oil companies
    2) Auction of G3 licences – but in reality it was a TAX raising exercise for the Treasury
    3) TAXed pension funds

    These idiots have no interest in helping consumers. All they’re interested in is helping THEMSELVES by raising MORE TAX.


    .. on and on it goes, where it will stop, nobody knows.

    I think they’ve invented PERPETUAL MOTION!

    Glory be.

  25. The call for MAS to push regulatory boundaries is no different in what the papers have been getting away with for years.

    Fund manager takes journalist out for a few nice lunches and low and behold suddenly there is an article about this fund extolling its virtues to the masses – just look at the money section of last weeks’ Times on Sunday.

    When the fund crashes and burns the journalist claims no responsibility as he was just going off what the fund manager told him and he/she wasnt giving individual advice.

    Surely there is something wrong with this situation?

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