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Editorial: FSA&#39s blow for class system

Congratulations to the FSA and the Labour Government for striking a blow for the beleaguered British class system with a neo-feudal system of financial advice.

The barons get fee-charging independent financial consultants, the squires and knights, that&#39s you, Sir Howard, see fee-rebating IFAs. Middle England&#39s freeholding farmers get commission-charging distributors and freedmen have gap-filled banks.

The serfs have the Utopia of generic advice. In reality, the peasants as always get nowt but benefits – an improvement on 1066 – and disincentives to saving. Can we suggest the Government tries a similar sys-tem for the NHS – consultants for the rich, junior doctors for the middle classes, a trolley in a corridor for the poor and old, you get the gist. See how popular that would be.

A petty argument? Well, when the FSA&#39s research, particularly on RIY and even on commission bias, may actually back polarisation over the OFT&#39s competition concerns, it is difficult to see the point in intelligent argument.

Money Marketing will be debunking the FSA claims in coming weeks. It would be insulting to our readers to let them stand. But, as Aifa admits, the issue is to get the detail right.

The change does not mean Doomsday for intermediary businesses – did someone whisper there is profit in change?

What is lost is the opportunity to reconcile Government, IFA and consumer interests – if only the powers that be had stopped “reforming” and started listening. That chance has gone. The FSA and the Government are getting rid of the system not on the evidence but because they want to. William the Conqueror would be proud.


FSA wants trees to be updated annually

Decision trees are to be updated every year in line with changes in the Budget, according to proposals by the FSA.In the consultation paper entitled, Stakeholder Pensions: Maintaining Decision Trees, the FSA sets out how it wants to keep decision trees up to date and accurate.It suggests that trees are updated annually to incorporate Government […]

Britannic boss quits after two months

Britannic Group chief executive Danny O&#39Neil is stepping down after two months in charge for personal reasons.His resignation comes as the group announces an £800m jump in new business to £2.2bn last year from £1.4bn in 2000 on the back of mortgage and retirement product sales.O&#39Neil, who has nine-year-old triplets and an 18-year-old daughter, says […]

Fund offers for the Isa season

First State Investments is to offer a 0.5 per cent discount on all investments of £5,000 into its British mid-cap fund. The discount will run from the fund&#39s launch on February 11 until the end of the tax year and will reduce the initial charge to 3.5 per cent from 4 per cent. Annual management […]

Dresdner investment trust flys the flag

Dresdner RCM British Portfolio Trust Product Details: Type: Investment trust. Aim: Income and growth by investing in UK equities. Minimum investment: £1,500. Maximum investment: No maximum. Investment split: 100 per cent in UK equities. Types of share: Ordinary. Isa link: Yes. Pep transfers: Yes. Redemption date: None. Charges: Annual 1 per cent. Commission: Initial up […]


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