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FSA poised to tear polarisation apart with fundamental change

The FSA is set to cut the heart out of polarisation, with Aifa director general Paul Smee admitting that radical change is on its way.

The changes, which are expected to be announced next week, may even go as far as removing all distinctions between advisers, with tied, IFAs or multi-tied, called the same, claims one life office.

Following FSA chairman Howard Davies&#39 repeated efforts to apparently soften up the market for changes late last year, most are bracing themselves for extensive change which will be announced on Monday.

Aifa director general Paul Smee, while conceding that change is likely to be radical, says there are still a number of questions which he believes need to be answered.

Issues such as how an adviser&#39s status is disclosed, how the transparency of the market is affected, what independent advice will mean following change and how the competitive playing field is disrupted all must be addressed, says Smee.

Syndaxi Financial Plan-ning principal Robert Reid is predicting that networks may be in trouble as directly authorised multi-ties may be allowed, thus eliminating much of the advantage of belonging to a network.

Norwich Union sales and marketing director Peter Hales says: “It is no longer a question of whether we have depolarisation but how we depolarise. We are expecting quite considerable change, with some form of multi-ties allowed.”

Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “We expect change that will be more significant and of more concern than we tho-ught three months ago. Multi-ties are much more likely than they appeared to be then.”

Will it be a late start for the Isa season this year? Our panel assess the Isa prospects, plus: zeros still positive despite split-cap problems, Far East markets poised for sentiment surge


New options aim to add to clarity of Prudence

Prudential is offering several new options on its Prudence bond in a move it says will help bring greater flexibility and clarity to with-profits bonds.The options include no initial charges, a minimum 100 per cent allocation rate and an annual bonus for investors who do not make withdrawals.The no initial charge option means investors pay […]

Morley announces change to board

Morley Fund Management has announced changes to its board. The appointment of two deputy chief executive officers is intended to free up chief executive officer Keith Jones to pursue plans for global expansion.The appointees are Gerard Quirke and Malcolm Le May. Dan Stannard from Fidelity becomes managing director of international business and Mike Gould becomes […]

Rathbones opens Cambridge office

Rathbones has opened a new office in Cambridge, as the first step in its expansion into the East Anglia region.The group has appointed a team of seven new employees to run the office, including a team of five investment managers from Gerrard — Paul Snow, John Barrett, Colin Campbell Golding, Simon Whitmore and Mark Winchester.Joel […]

Firms take stakes in Mortgage Brain

Woolwich, Northern Rock, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland have each acquired an equity stake in trading platform Mortgage Brain, joining HBoS, Nationwide and Alliance & Leicester. For an undisclosed amount each of the lenders have taken a 12.75 per cent stake in the 51 per cent share of Mortgage Brain open to investment by […]

Neptune video: Indian valuations and Modi’s pro-investment agenda

Kunal Desai, Head of Indian Equities, discusses his expectations for the Indian market and highlights the key indicators that he is watching for 2015.

In the video, Kunal addresses:

• Indian equity valuations and the importance of stock selection in gaining exposure to the earnings upgrade cycle

• The BJP’s strengthening ambition in its pro-reform, pro-investment agenda


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