View more on these topics

FSA loses sight of issues with bank plan

The FSA is inviting banks to devise a fee-based solution to serving the mass market.

The carrot is that the regulator is unlikely to view any subsequent complaints as misselling. The FSA’s director of wholesale firms Dr Thomas Huertas says banks would need the comfort of not being the victim of retrospection by a future regulatory regime.

It seems to be saying that you cannot missell as a fee-based adviser. This newspaper reckons you can, although it might be less likely. You can certainly overcharge. Within Dr Huertas’s speech, he appears to be saying that if you take commission, then you should not be surprised if retrospective regulation applies. The harshest take on these comments would be that you are guilty until proven innocent.

But the FSA promised no more retrospection years ago. How can it offer no retrospection as a carrot to banks when it has supposedly been its policy for years?

Money Marketing also wonders why banks would be interested in providing such a service.

Any answer from the banks will be interesting, to say the least. We humbly remind Dr Huertas of banks previously offering stakeholder in tie-ups with life offices adhering to the wonderful 1 per cent charge cap while the other part of the deal was letting commission rip on bond sales.

It is also easy to say yes – to play the regulator at its own lobbying game – that is, let it knock the stuffing out of IFAs in the meantime – and then not bother to market the service.

Finally, we counsel Dr Huertas on precipice bonds. They paid generous commission, were expensive and were distributed by some advisers and banks but they were probably not missold because of commission per se but as a means of getting people into equity investment at a time when the bear market had scared them off. They were a hazard because advisers were looking to replace other product lines as they fell out of favour. Commission was a factor but that hazard would certainly apply to fee-charging bank service looking to justify its existence and its fees.

Dr Huertas should be careful of what he wishes for.


Protection moving online

The vast majority of protection policies are now written online, according to Royal Liver.Research by the firm among 567 advisers shows 90 per cent prefer internet-based applications. IFA market manager Andy Milburn says online facilities make sense for advisers writing protection alongside mortgages, as most mortgage business is conducted on the web.He says: “Providers offering […]

A shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing My first week in my new role as deputy news editor seems a bit manic, not helped by the MM newsdesk being rather light on bodies due to illness, holiday or the infamous floating conference that is PIMS, which I have somehow managed to avoid for three […]

Baring calls for shift to fully funded schemes

Baring Asset Management is proposing the creation of a fully funded public sector pensions system to cover civil servants, the NHS, teachers and the armed forces.It would be based on successful schemes such as the Dutch public sector workers’ scheme ABP and the California public employees scheme Calpers.Barings director of fixed income Toby Nangle believes […]

Pointon York helps IFAs on corporate Sipp sales

Pointon York Sipp Solutions is running a series of sales training workshops for advisers who are looking for company pension scheme alternatives but are unsure where to start.The corporate Sipp workshops will include presentations from industry figures, including Syndaxi managing director Robert Reid and Seven Investment Management chief executive Tom Sheridan.PYSS, which claims it was […]

Mark Page: “A good time to be a European fund manager”

With European markets picking up in early 2015, Mark Page, Artemis European Opportunities Fund manager, discusses the ‘macro’ drivers and whether the improvements are sustainable. Largely driven by economic stimulus by the European Central Bank, European stockmarkets have performed strongly so far in 2015. Mark discusses the relative merits and sustainability of ECB policy with […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm