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FSA relents further on statistics

The FSA has given a further indication it is to soften its line on past

performance, with confirmation that IFAs can continue to use statistics in

reasons-why letters.

In a draft of its new handbook, which was passed by the FSA board this

summer, the regulator says reasons used by IFAs in suitability letters can

include “price, service levels, performance track record, investment

prospects, medical evidence terms, reputation and financial strength”.

The new handbook, which comes into practice from December 1, comes just a

year after the FSA published a research paper asserting that past

performance provides no guide to the future. It consequently decided to

omit past performance from its forthcoming comparison tables.

The news is the second indication in less than a month that the FSA is

caving in to industry pressure to reverse its stance. Three weeks ago, FSA

consumer director Christine Farnish told the BBC that the use of past

performance data in advertising is now unlikely to be banned.

Plan Invest joint managing director Michael Owen says: “They seem to be

coming round. The press has been very vociferous in its view that you

cannot ignore performance, as has Autif. They are obviously listening to

some of the lobbying. I am pleased. I think it would have been folly to

completely discount past performance.”


Equitable deal could see lower payouts to GAR holders

Equitable Life is only weeks away from issuing a compromise deal whichcould save the society from spiralling uncertainty but payoffs toguaranteed annuity rate holders could be lower than expected. The deal should be published to policyholders in mid-September followingan “open and constructive” meeting between policyholder action grouprepresentatives and Equitable&#39s board last week. Any proposals will […]

Stroud & Swindon brings in discounted flexible mortgage

The latest addition to the flexible mortgage market comes from Stroud & Swindon Building Society.The discount flexible 2006 mortgage has a discount of 0.25 per cent until July 1, 2006 for loans of up to 85 per cent of valuation. This gives it a payable rate of 5.99 per cent.Stroud & Swindon will pay the […]

Annuity Bureau calls for rule changes

The Annuity Bureau is calling for new legislation to forceinvestment-linked annuity providers to allow transfers from one provider toanother to provide a lifeline to annuitants locked into poor-performingfunds. The specialist IFA is arguing for the change in light of the poordeal Equitable Life annuitants receive and also for policyholders optingfor riskier investment-linked annuity products.

TMO in enhanced commission deal

Broker network The Mortgage Operation is introducing a direct-to-lender-panel service which enables intermediaries to earn enhanced commission payments. The facility allows brokers to submit mortgage applications direct to anylender on TMO&#39s panel and receive extra commission if they identifythemselves as a network member. Participating lenders on the panel includeHalifax, NatWest, Nationwide and Royal Bank of […]


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