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FSA set to relax rules over key features

The FSA is proposing a relaxation of the key features document

requirements for IFAs.

If the proposals are accepted by the industry and consumer groups, IFAs

will no longer have to send out post-sales key features documents for life

insurance products.

Currently, they must give customers a second list of key features

confirming those agreed upon at the point of sale but this applies only to

life insurance products.

The move could save the life insurance industry up to £35m a year in

compliance costs.

The FSA says the proposals would not compromise consumer protection.

The regulator is also looking at allowing independent advisers to provide

information by email, fax and the internet rather than just by post.

The proposals are part of a wider review of life insurance product

liter-ature. The ABI is also conducting a study and is also expected to

make proposals.

Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “This is part

of a wider review by a variety of different groups about how to best

communicate with policyholders. The general principle behind it seems to be

absolutely right and proper.”

Aifa director-general Paul Smee says: “Simplification is welcome bec-ause

these things are too complicated for investors to use.

“Anything that helps IFAs meet their clients&#39 needs better is welcome.”

Mortgage Next is setting upa website ahead of offeringa fully interactive

service to brokers in September.

The new site, mortgage next.co.uk, lets IFAs register for the company&#39s

service online, giving them free access to 500 products froma panel of

lenders.

Mortgage Next plans to offer its 5,000 regular users full online

facilities for mortgage sourcing, mortgage calculators and illustrations

via one generic online application form this autumn.

Intermediaries registering now will have immediate access to the

packagers&#39 “hot deals” which include fixed- rate, flexible-rate,

discounted, buy-to-let and self-certification mortgages. Brokers also get a

marketing pack detailing support services which includes a call centre.

Operations director Justine Tomlinson says: “This is the first phase of a

very excit-ing development for us and our advisers.

“The second phase of our e-commerce development will come in September

when we will be offering our IFAs full online facilities.”

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