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Don&#39t take your eye off the business ball

The reform of UK financial services, a process we confidently predict will never end in the working lifetime of most IFAs, continues apace this week as Sandler and Pickering publish their views.

IFAs are set to suffer collateral damage in the cause of getting the great “unsaved” to put some money away and will take some direct hits, too.

Current sales regulations from the FSA get short shrift while with-profits contracts and overpriced active funds get thumped.

Safe harbour or non-toxic products are in vogue, allowing the public to sign up with a minimum of regulation.

In case readers have not realised, the implication is that almost the whole of the savings market and particularly the bit sold through IFAs is failing to deliver.

It will come as no surprise that Money Marketing does not agree.

The stockmarket blues make trackers, stakeholder and Cat-standard Isas as unappetising as any.

With the most bearish commentators suggesting the market has much further to fall, we struggle to identify a genuine safe non-toxic haven other than cash. This paper does not accept that all active fund managers are overpaid charlatans although some may be.

We believe the market is overregulated but that does not mean a move to little or no regulation.

We believe distribution has a cost that cannot be wished away at the whim of a reviewer, a regulator or a minister.

Our advice to readers is, as always, keep half an eye on the reviews but concentrate on your clients and your businesses.

People will always need to save, to borrow to buy homes and to insure themselves and those products will always need to be distributed.


Pickering welcomes Lilley back into pensions fold

Peter Lilley, the man who as the Tories&#39 last Social Security Secretary was accused by then opposition leader Tony Blair of planning to privatise the state pension, has been brought in from the cold by the Pickering review.Lilley is one of three opposition politicians thanked by Pickering for their input. In a clear bid to […]

CA calls for simple products, less regulation

The Consumers&#39 Association is calling on Ron Sandler to recommend a two tier approach towards financial advice consisting of both generic and product specific advisers serving different consumer needs.In a pre-briefing document released in advance of the publication of Sandler&#39s recommendations tomorrow, the consumer watchdog is also calling for the development of safe-haven products which […]

Watered down defined payment system from Sandler

IFAs should be able to negotiate their charges with potential and existing clients Ron Sandler&#39s review team has concluded in his recommendations, effectively watering down the FSA&#39s Defined Payment proposals.Payment options would include upfront fees, a retainer basis, as a percentage of the assets under management or payments dependent on the sale of a product […]

Independent View

When I was asked to write this article for Money Marketing, I sat there and thought, what do I write about that has not already been written about our industry in the last 12 months? In other words, how do I make this positive rather than the negative garbage that we have been put through […]


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