View more on these topics

FSA mystery shop probes stakeholder

The FSA is mystery shopping IFAs and providers to check pre-stakeholder

plans are complying with RU64 and advertising does not mislead consumers.

The regulator will be looking at product structure and how plans are

advertised. Sources believe not all pre-stakeholder plans measure up to the

FSA&#39s criteria which stipulates consumers must not be penalised if they

transfer to a stakeholder.

The mystery shop follows FSA letters to providers asking them to detail

their pre-stakeholder plans in terms of charges and transferability as well

ashow they will be sold.

The regulator refuses to reveal the scale of the shop or when the results

will be made public. Spokeswoman Jackie Blyth says a cross-section of firms

are being visited.

The FSA insists the shop and the letters are an information-gathering

exercise only.

Clerical Medical pensions strategy manager Nigel Stammers says the

industry is confused about what constitutes stakeholder-friendly plans.

Although the final form of stakeholder is clear, not all of the details

have been published.

Pre-stakeholder plans are offered by most major life offices in some form,

both direct and through IFAs.

Stammers says: “Some companies may be falling short of offering a truly

stakeholder- friendly product because what constitutes friendly is not

clear. That is why we do not associate the term friendly with any ofour


When you&#39re RU64, p34


RBS confirms sales of NatWest insurance holdings

The Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed the sale of its 50 per cent stakes in NatWest Life and Royal Scottish Assurance to CGNU. The £600m deal comes as no surprise as it formed part of the takeover bid RBS launched for NatWest in November. The high street bank is also launching the new marketing […]

Merrill and AMP stakeholder deal

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is joining forces with NPI parent AMP tooffer its clients stakeholder pensions.AMP is allowing MLIM, formerly Mercury Asset Management, to use Alis, itspension admin system.The Merrill Lynch stakeholder is unlikely to be offered through IFAs asthe company is saying this market is not of any importance to it.But NPI says the […]

Independent fund manager BFS has designed a Pep Transfer product

Independent fund manager BFS has designed a Pep Transfer product aimed at investors who want to take a different investment strategy since the Pep was taken out.The BFS Pep Transfer has four options: a Management option, a Self-select option, an Investment Trust option and a Single Company option. Pep holders can switch between them at […]

Hilary Austin

What do you get if you cross a compliance director, a Yorkshire woman anda rebel with a cause?Answer – a yellow Audi-driving, eight-month preg-nant managing directorofa start-up IFA support services company.Cutting loose and compliance are strange bedfellows but they seem toco-exist perfectly well in Hilary Austin.The head of a new Bankhall-funded IFA support services firm […]

Oil industry: only the fittest will survive

The actions of OPEC have forced the oil supply to fall and producers to cut costs and rationalise, says Richard Hulf In an interview with journalist Alexis Xydias, Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, explains the impact of the fall in the oil price on energy companies. Alexis also quizzes Richard on […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment