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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.

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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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