Any IFAs hungry for an idea of what Ron Sandler is thinking got a belly full last week. The head of the Treasury review of retail savings came to the Aifa dinner to talk to the great, the good and the not so good among IFAs.
He gave value for money – the topic he chose to address in detail was commission – and helped reinforce the image that his review will be open. Among significant pieces of information was that a maximum commission agreement is not on the cards.
He also suggested commission could be seen as an opaque loan from provider to consumer with which to pay the IFA and warned about applying the term advice loosely to the sale of a particular product.
His review will also look at improving the savings ratio, something not included in its original remit, while in this news-paper's view, if polarisation gets in the way of an efficient operation of the market or of getting lower-income groups to save,it will be changed.
Money Marketing has a few observations to make. If you load on too many pressures and change the way IFAs do business too radically too quickly then you will damage saving across all groups.
The review must also learn the lessons of stakeholder and how something designed for lower-income groups did not help them to save. We also struggle to see how “commission bias”, if one exists, can be ironed out without a draconian application of Catmarks or a massive intervention in the market.
As for Money Marketing itself, we are pleased to hear you are a reader Mr Sandler, if not a fan, at least not yet.