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Hindsight for sore IFAs

Ron Sandler, for once, is absolutely right when he says the FSA&#39s refusal to provide a clear definition of misselling will lead to more scandals which will damage the industry.

Whatever are we paying the FSA for? You can bet your bottom dollar – to which an increasing number of practitioners are getting perilously close – the FSA will have no such reluctance when the opportunity presents itself for another hindsight review.

In fact, Clive Briault all but admits this when he says the regulator is “looking very hard” at the areas of pension unlocking and equity release (for which read looking very hard for its next opportunity for a hindsight review).

Surely, given the vast amounts it charges in levies, shouldn&#39t the FSA be looking very hard at ways to help the industry avoid any more misselling scandals before they happen? Of what use is the FSA if all it can do is react to misselling practices after they have happened because it failed to formulate and publish adequate guidelines beforehand?

How can it be that the very organisation created to police and promote high standards of product selling, in the interests of consumer protection, is either unwilling or unable to define just what constitutes misselling before it takes place?

Something is very wrong and all of us out here know it. When will the FSA face up to its responsibilities and do its job properly instead of hammering the industry that supports its very existence with yet more crippling hindsight reviews? These are the things that are causing rocketing FSCS levies and PI premiums and grinding ever more IFA businesses into bankruptcy. Does anybody at Canary Wharf understand this or even care about it? Some hope.

Julian Stevens

WDS, Bristol


Time for action – ABI

Reacting to today&#39s publication of the Pensions Commission&#39s report, ABI Director General Mary Francis says: “Three years ago the ABI calculated that there was a savings gap of £27bn each year. This now looks like an under-estimate. There are no easy answers to the pensions crisis, but the bones of a solution are emerging.” The […]

Gartmore funds back Cazenove&#39s star stockpicker

Gartmore&#39s new multi-manager range is heavily backing the recently launched Cazenove fund run by Neil Pegrum. Four Gartmore funds of funds – UK high alpha strategy, global high alpha strategy, active strategy and balanced strategy – have taken strong positions in the Cazenove UK dynamic fund based on Pegrum&#39s stockpicking credentials. Behind the selection is […]

This little piggy had roast beef

Last week, I ended in Michael Caine mode. No, you weren&#39t supposed to blow the bl*@!y doors off. But you were made aware that there is a proposal (on which consultation was sought) to align the tax treatment of capital gains under bare trusts, established for the benefit of minor unmarried children by their parents, […]

&#39Clients have lost faith in traditional equities&#39

Half of IFAs buying hedge funds are recommending them because clients have lost faith in traditional equities, research from independent pollsters reveals. New research conducted by polling firm NMG Research shows that 54 per cent of IFAs recommending hedge funds are doing so because clients do not believe other funds can offer absolute returns. The […]

Guarantees in the retirement income market

Lorna Blyth, Royal London  Do guarantees benefit customers and, if so, when? To answer this conundrum we commissioned Millimans, a global actuarial consulting firm, to conduct an independent review of the UK retirement income market and whether guarantees really do offer customers better value for money. The brief The study was one of the most comprehensive undertaken […]


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