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Has new review chief Sandler already come to a conclusion?

The man selected to head the Treasury&#39s “son of Myners” review into the retail financial services industry appears to have prejudged the outcome of his inquiry despite only being appointed this week.

Ron Sandler, chairman of City stockbroking firm Kyte and previously NatWest chief operating officer and Lloyd&#39s of London chief executive, is to look at the entire retail financial services sector, including the role played by IFAs.

His appointment follows Gartmore chairman Paul Myners&#39 recommendation of a retail review in his report on institutional investment trends for the Treasury last year.

The review is expected to concentrate on alleged commission bias and the charging structures of financial products as well as levels of competition across the sector.

Despite Treasury claims that he is not speaking to the media, Sandler told the Financial Times this week: “There is prima facie evidence of distortions of the [life insurance] market.” This suggests Sandler has already drawn his own conclusions on the level of competition in the life industry before he has even started.

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “I look forward to putting to Mr Sandler the case that IFAs are an efficient distribution channel who are actually a force for competition.”

Neither the Treasury nor Sandler was prepared to comment.

l Comment, p25

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