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Hidden agenda is to oust IFAs

The Treasury select committee has questioned the existence of trail fees. Well, MPs have used expense loopholes to claim an average of £119,000 in expenses on top of £56,358 salary and pension contributions of £13,526 as well as profiting from housing allowances and receipt-free travel – a total of £78m in expenses in addition to salaries.

I am told that MPs who had pensions in Equitable Life were allowed to transfer out at nil cost.

Since Helen Liddell, the modus operandi in getting on in the Labour Party has been to attacks IFAs. How about investigating the banks? Oops. Howard Davies oversaw the bankers so we must not do that.

I charge a 1 per cent fee and reinvest the rest for the client&#39s benefit so I rely on trail fees which helps to value my business when I eventually retire (against my clients&#39 wishes as they get tax-free advice). If the IFA is not paid the fee, then the investment house keeps it.

Regarding MPs&#39 comments on “restoring confidence in long -term savings”. Since 2000, there has been the Nasdaq crash, the dot.com crash, September 11, terrorist threats, mass regulation, Brown&#39s pension tax bite and Isa reductions, so it is no wonder that people have been deterred.

The late Sheila McKechnie said in a Radio 4 programme that the FSA had failed and should be scrapped. She was in favour of and fully supported IFAs. Ex-FSA managing director Philip Thorpe said the regulator was “too bureaucratic, with a lot of ex-banking staff”. Well now, there is an observation. Who would have thought that?

So what is the hidden agenda? Get rid of IFAs and push the business to the banks. Who can save IFAs? John Tiner seems fair-minded and is an accountant.

Desmond Wigglesworth

Anglo-Scottish Financial Services,

St Albans,Hertfordshire

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