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FSA must come out of its trench to avert industry war

The ABI has attacked the FSA using language reminiscent of the Cold War.

For insurers to talk of a “fight to the death” underlines how relations have soured. Money Marketing might not have used such language but it gives qualified support to the message.

UK savings are at risk of being reviewed and regulated out of existence.

But the problem is more fundamental than simple capitulation to the consumer lobby. If all the Consumers&#39 Association views were accepted, with-profits would face root and branch reform but polarisation would be safe and a sensible system for mortgage regulation implemented.

The problem is more that the ragbag of reports, reviews and submissions are used selectively – most recently and disgracefully the consumer panel&#39s approval to justify an unworkable plan for mortgage regulation. Ron Sandler, prejudging and thus bizarrely undermining his own review, promises more disruption.

To make matters worse, the atmosphere generated by the worst of the national press is not far short of hysteria, making it doubly hazardous for the regulator to use devices such as naming and shaming or public warnings.

For its part, the ABI needs to offer more than Saltr, or Saltr needs to offer a more comprehensive package, as its solution to these problems whether real or perceived.

But it would be facile for the regulator or the Government to use pension misselling or endowment problems to justify every badly thought out policy. Regulation cannot work if a significant section of industry withdraws its consent.


Don&#39t aim wide of the mark

Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at certain key aspects of trusts as commonly used with financial services products. So far, we have discussed the importance and, in some cases, the lack of importance of the roles of settlor and trustee, noting the powers and duties of each along with importance considerations […]

Investec launches offshore growth portfolio

Investec Private Bank is launching the Offshore International Balanced Portfolio through its multi-manager fund service Investec Select.The OIBP will aim to generate medium to long-term capital growth through a selection of international fixed-interest and equity trust.Investec Private Bank investment team member Michael Todd says: “Investec Select has proved to be a very popular and successful […]

Three firms suspended over PI cover

The PIA has suspended three IFA firms for failing to renew their PI insurance cover. Blenheim Financial Services of Church Farm, Coates, Cirencester, Gloucestershire; Fernside Financial Services of Feltham Road, Ashford, Middlesex and R&W Financial Services of Main Street, Shildon, County Durham have had investment business suspended pending their renewal of PI cover.

Warning of low life expectancy for the industry

The financial services industry faces challenges on many fronts. Stakeholder is unlikely to return a profit for the majority of providers, the financial strength of life offices is being squeezed and consumers are rejecting equities for deposit-based accounts.This gloomy picture is painted in Cazalet Financial Consulting&#39s Life 2001 study of the industry. Influential and outspoken […]


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