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Haddrill says PTA should have been given three years

ABI chief Stephen Haddrill has attacked the Government’s pension term assurance U-turn, branding it “completely incomprehensible” and called for longer periods of bedd- ing down before reviews of legislation.

Speaking at the ABI’s Better Regulation conference in London last week, Haddrill said his members had worked hard before A-Day to prov- ide HM Revenue & Customs with all the implications of the new rules.

He said the ABI’s understanding was that the Government was fully aware of the way that stand-alone PTA would be marketed and sold by the industry.

The former Department for Trade and Industry director general of fair markets said the ABI had been in regular contact with HMRC and the Treasury since A-Day but had been given no indication of Government concerns.

Haddrill said it was quite right for the Government to conduct regular reviews of legislation to ensure that the outcomes anticipated are being delivered but this should be “more like a three-year review” rather than the eight months since April.

He used his speech at the conference to back Conservative calls for financial services competitiveness to be made a statutory objective of the FSA.

He said for the good reason of market stability, the FSA was not given a duty under the Financial Services and Markets Act to promote competition but he told delegates this policy should be reviewed. He also acknowledged the ABI members’ strong concerns regarding the jurisdiction of the FOS.

Haddrill said: “We explained to the Revenue what we had in mind so to go back on this after such a short period of time I find completely incomprehensible. That is not to say the Government should not keep regulation under review but this should be more like a three- year review rather than what has happened.”

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