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FSA needs to live up to expectations

AMP&#39s plans for its UK business present the FSA with the ultimate test of whether anyone should expect anything from policyholders&#39 reasonable expectations.

If alarm bells were not ringing when the original AMP “Henderson” split was announced, they are now, as NPI policyholders have been told their with-profits policies are now simply bond and property investments – not for sound investment reasons but because such investments require less capital backing. They have also been told to expect few, if any, bonus payments in future. London Life members face a similar fate.

It is very difficult for IFAs to work out if London Life, Pearl and NPI policyholders are being abandoned in favour of the group&#39s Australian shareholders.

They cannot determine whether the way in which the Pearl fund was used to buy UK businesses means Pearl members are owed by the parent group.

They are not well placed to determine whether any promises made by the AMP companies&#39 salespeople or undertakings given to IFAs when they sold policies have now been breached.

Finally, they cannot know if the actions proposed by AMP are necessary or represent an easy escape route from the burden of the UK businesses.

The only organisation with a chance of answering these questions is the FSA.It should examine the proposals and give its view quickly. It may require the FSA to intervene to ensure that policyholders are not discriminated against. It only has about six months to do so.

If the standard for the reasonable treatment of policyholders was lowered, that would be a terrible failure which would come back to haunt the FSA and consumers.


Anderson quits Yorkshire to join Jobcentre Plus

Yorkshire Building Society chief executive David Anderson is leaving to become chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions.Anderson joined the society in 1987 as marketing director from PA Management Consultants, where he specialised in financial services. He became Yorkshire chief executive in 1996, overseeing double-digit growth for most of […]

Drawn-out illustration

Friday April 25 (lunchtime): fax quote specification for an investment bond to Sun Life, naming the particular fund to which the money is to be allocated.Monday April 28: No sign of illustration.Tuesday April 29: No sign of illustration. Phone Sun Life to ask why. No one knows anything about it. Fax specification again with a […]

Yorkshire offering 15-year fix at 5.24%

Yorkshire Building Society is offering a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage which allows an unlimited number of free overpayments of capital provided that the loan is not redeemed completely.The mortgage is fixed at 5.24 per cent at 95 per cent loan to value. The redemption penalties are 5 per cent for the first five years, 4 per […]

Safety nets for 40% downside

Structured product provider Nvesta is launching the latest two in its series of index tracker plans, offering downside protection if the FTSE 100 falls by up to 40 per cent.Quad Tracker Plan 2 is a six-year plan which offers four times the growth in the index up to a maximum of 80 per cent. As […]

Powerful estate planning tools ignored or forgotten by wealthy Brits

Canada Life IHT Survey 2016 Only a quarter of wealthy Brits have sought professional estate planning advice to ensure their families don’t pay more tax than required More than a quarter don’t even have a will and just one in five have gifted money Many say they do not need these tools but families would […]


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