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‘FSA against small advisers’

Pension consultant Ros Altmann says the FSA is hampering IFAs from giving good advice by penalising small firms and favouring bancassurers.

She said the regulator is fixated with big banks and life insurers and interested only in clamping down on smaller IFA firms.

Altmann said: “It is quite clear what is going on in the mass market with this so-called open market option, which most people do not understand.

“The FSA is presiding over a system where the Government forces you to buy something but people do not know what they are doing and customers miss out because they do not have a voice.

“Advisers can give them a voice but all the regulator seems to want to do is clamp down on bad practice and make examples of the small minority of advisers who do not behave well.”

She said there are a few advisers who do not know what they are doing but added: “The majority of them are really trying to make a difference for their clients and are hampered in that by the regulator’s system.”

“Ever since the FSA came to be, it appears to me that there is a banc- assurance agenda here. It is against the independent and it is against the small firm.”

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