The CP121 proposals are counter-productive for the consumer, practitioners and market forces.
The FSA approach is in the self-interest of the regulator's singular, task-oriented efficiencies. The only beneficiaries are the banks and major financial institutions looking for a short cut to market share.
All the consumer can look forward to is confusion and erosion of choice as most advisers are forced into multi-tie or distributor status.
Prohibition of the independent label for commission remuneration means that the less well off will be denied access to independent financial advice.
Interference and manipulation of market forces is nothing less than fraud and sharp practice. This is more than just anti-competitive, it is a total disregard of fair play, normal business practices and the democratic ideals that this country is supposed to uphold.
The FSA claims that transparency of remuneration for advice or transactions is the motivation for the proposed upheavals. If this is so, why must the world be turned upside down for all and sundry?
My terms of business offer every client a clear choice of how they remunerate us. They can opt for a defined-fee basis or they can instruct us to take commission from the provider.
Their preference is thereafter clearly documented in either a fee agreement or a letter confirming the relevant commission payment we expect for any specified transactions. Remuneration should not be relevant to a regulator unless the client is subjected to fraud, in which case, the police would be involved.
If the FSA proposals are enforced, then the majority of my clients are denied choice of access to my services as an independent adviser as too many of my clients will not accept fee-charging.
The regulator will have forced me into a category of a distributor or multi-tie. Neither the marketplace nor our clients are in a position to make these artificial changes for the convenience of the regulator and the major banks.
I am amazed that providers and heads of big IFA groups are using words such as “it's a done deal”. Did they really go into business with such minimal ethics or backbone to defend their commercial rights?
Why are so many providers bowing to the upstart dictator-ships? If this is how they behave, it is little wonder that a new regulator can deliver a “done deal”.