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Flight flays political elite for persecuting advisers

Conservative Shadow Treasury Chief Secretary Howard Flight has

lambasted the “politically correct establishment” for its repeated

victimisation of IFAs over the last several years.

Delivering the keynote speech to the LIA&#39s annual conference in

London last week, Flight was scathing towards what he perceives as

efforts by the political elite to get rid of IFAs but he welcomed the

fact that they have largely failed.

He commended the resilience of IFAs, saying, despite all that has

been thrown at them, they have proved their ability to stay the

course and continue providing advice.

Flight was also critical of the “blame culture” in the UK, leading

consumers to com-plain whenever a product does not perform as

expected. He said there has been a decade of “unwise propaganda”

urging consumers to complain about financial advice.

In a characteristically frank speech dealing with the range of issues

facing IFAs, Flight ridiculed attempts by the Treasury and the FSA to

deal with the PI crisis, accusing them of not facing up to the issue.

He wrote off the Sandler suite of products, saying he suspects they

will not be successful because they are not needed by consumers. He

poured scorn on the idea that high-street banks will embrace the

polarisation reforms by offering a wide range of other providers&#39

products, calling it “absolute poppycock”.

He said: “There is a most unpleasant politically correct

Establishment that has been trying to get financial advisers for

several years, a task at which they have been largely unsuccessful. I

fiercely object to the patronising preconceptions of that political

elite.”

Whitechurch Securities chairman Kean Seager says: “The conspiracy

theory has been around as long as regulation has been. I do not think

that there is anyone out to get us. I do, however, think that many of

the things that have been done have made life a lot more difficult

for IFAs.”

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