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Graduate drive nets just two recruits

AN ambitious scheme to recruit 1,000 graduates a year into IFA firms is on the brink of collapse after it placed just two in nine months.

Aifa is now warning the Gradus scheme, created by the IFA Association last July in a bid to increase the number of young IFAs, could be scrapped.

All parties blame the failure of the scheme, which attracted interest from 900 graduates, on the refusal of IFA firms to take them on.

Just one of the graduates recruited has started work, with another due to start in a few weeks.

But even sole success Clare Thomason says she is “disappointed” after the external training she was expecting was shelved because it is not now cost effective for Gradus to provide it.

Gradus principal Paul Nixon admits it is likely both AIFA and Phil Billingham Associates, responsible for training, will pull out.

AIFA director of policy and technical services Fay Goddard says: “We have been disappointed with the uptake rates and we are not sure if we will carry on with the scheme.”

Billingham says: “I thought the programme Nixon and I devised was likely to succeed. But we had only isolated success, not enough to prove Gradus could work.”

Nixon says he is determined to battle on.


MPs maul mortgage lenders over loyalty

Loyalty to customers means nothing to lenders, the House of Commons has been told.During a debate on unfair terms in mortgage contracts Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner told MPs that “it appears that in the mortgage game, loyalty rarely pays”. And his angry words were echoed by minister for competition and consumer affairs […]

Life offices in stakeholder price war

Life offices have launched into a bloody stakeholder pension price war which has seen annual management charges plummeting below the Government&#39s 1 per cent cap.Legal & General and Friends Provident have kicked off with aggressively priced “stakeholder friendly” group schemes with annual management charges as low as 0.65 per cent.While Scottish Mutual&#39s Universal group plan, […]

Gay groups call for equal transfer rights over IHT

Gay rights campaigners are threatening to reduce the UK&#39s inheritance tax regime to rubble by demanding equal transfer rights for thousands of unmarried couples in the wake of new human rights legislation.The introduction of the Human Rights Act, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law in October, could force the Government […]

Autif competes for fund supermarket business

The Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds is claiming subsidiary EMX will give IFAs the ability to compete with financial supermarkets.EMX is the recently launched initiative to establish an electronic dealing and valuation system for the investment funds industry.Chase de Vere spokesperson Ian Millward says EMX will help the IFA deliver “real service” for […]

Recording sickness absence cover - thumbnail

White paper — recording sickness absence

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions illustrate that sickness absence is still a major cost to businesses, with an annual bill for sick pay and associated costs to employers of £9bn. This paper from Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the importance of recording sickness absence for any employee health strategy and how this can be carried out in an efficient manner to reduce absence, improve employee engagement and drive up profits.


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