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Higginson: Financial services must speak with one voice

Sesame Bankhall Group chief executive George Higginson has warned the financial services sector it must speak with a unified voice on industry issues to avoid regulatory intervention.

Speaking last week at the Sesame symposium in London, Higginson (pictured) said: “The problem is we do not have a joined-up body. We have got the Association of British Insurers that represents the life providers and we have various bodies allegedly representing advisers.

“We have got to stop fighting between ourselves as one of the main points of feedback from the FSA is ’if you cannot put your house in order, we will do it for you’. “We argue whether advisers are tied, independent, bank advisers or financial planners. The reality is that this is our industry and we have to come together with a unified voice.”

Ernst & Young global insurance leader Shaun Crawford said while providers take a lot of criticism from the industry, they have a big role to play and advisers should look to work with them.

He said: “Providers often become the whipping boys for various reasons but the big providers are really important for our economy. Both providers and advisers have an enormous part to play in dealing with customers.”

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