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Golden age without rogues

Commission Round Table report by Sam Shaw

A golden age of financial services could dawn if the industry works together to clean up its act.

Speaking at the Money Marketing round table meeting on commission last week, Standard Life life and pensions chief executive Trevor Matthews said: “I think we are on the threshold of a golden age of financial services with everything that is going on at the moment.”

Prudential distribution director Dave Harris said the FSA would be wrong to ban initial commission altogether.

Harris said: “I think there is potentially a golden dawn just around the corner. We need to create an environment where product providers and advisers can work more closely together to reach higher standards and get rid of the rogues that are giving the industry a bad name.

“This is the opportunity to step up to some of those challenges that have been laid but the important thing is that the FSA does not take a sledgehammer to crack a nut and take some crazy step like banning commission.”

Matthews said that inferior advisers need to be driven out of the industry and that it is the both of product providers and IFAs to raise the bar and achieve a more professional standard.

But he said with so much change, an ageing population and the improving quality of technology, the industry is rife with opportunities.

“There is a massive prize to take if we get this right over the next decade but the standards have to improve. We have got to keep raising the bar ourselves so it is intol-erable for somebody who is sub-standard.

“The new-look IFAs or whatever it is we will call them must throw out the people who are not up to scratch.”

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