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FSA blocks M&E cash injection

IFAs could be left in funding limbo after the FSA blocked a

consortium of providers from buying stakes in Tenet-owned M&E

network by invoking its better than best rules.

The consortium, which inc-luded Norwich Union, Scottish Widows and

Friends Provident, applied for a waiver for exemption from the better

than best rules but were turned down days before the FSA pledged to

scrap them last month.

The providers believed they could be granted special permission by

the regulator on the grounds that each of them was buying a small

stake on an individual basis. But the FSA&#39s decision resulted in the

consortium pulling out of the deal, which they had spent around seven

months setting up.

NU has approached the FSA for clarification but says it was told the

rules would continue to apply despite its intention to ditch them. NU

says the decision is shortsighted and could scupper more deals as a

backlog is created.

Director of IFA development David Barral says: “The FSA&#39s position

has challenged a number of deals we have been involved in. It has

created problems but the feedback from them is that the rules are the

rules and that is it.”

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