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FSA turns focus on equity release and pension unlocking

The FSA believes the next two biggest misselling scandals to rock the financial industry will be around equity-release products and pension unlocking.

Speaking at a Labour Conference fringe meeting, FSA managing director of retail markets Clive Briault said although he could not predict the next scandal, he admitted that the regulator is looking very closely at two areas.

At the Brighton conference on Tuesday this week, he said misselling of products which allow people to release value from their property in retirement was a particular concern.

He said although he supported the idea behind the product, the FSA had come across some evidence of miselling of products to elderly people and marketing material that was “wholly unsuitable”.

The FSA is also focusing attentions on the pension unlocking sector.

Increasing numbers of people aged over 50 are being targeted by firms claiming to be able to “unlock” funds in their occupational or personal pension for a fee before they have reach retirement age.

Briault said although many people may not be aware of the problem yet, the regulator took a harsh view of advertisements for the schemes on daytime television and considered that a number of schemes could be misselling.

He said: “We cannot predict where the next misselling scandal will come from but there are two areas that we are looking at very closely. The two biggest potential misselling scandals are the misselling of products designed to allow consumers to release the value of their property in retirement and pension unlocking.”

•Labour Conference reports, p2


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Natixis Global Asset Management’s quarterly Portfolio Barometer offers insights into UK financial advisers’ model portfolios and the allocation decisions they are making. Natixis’s Portfolio Research & Consulting Group works with financial advisers and other intermediaries to analyse and enhance their model portfolios and help them develop investor portfolios suited to today’s complex markets. The Portfolio […]


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