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‘Holding pattern’ over guided sales irks Aegon

Aegon has hit out at the FSA for letting the guided sales channel fall off its agenda and allowing it to become detached from the retail distribution review.

Head of corporate affairs Francis McGee says he is not expecting much development on guided sales to appear in the regulator’s June consultation paper on the RDR.

McGee says: “I am very frustrated and disappointed with the position we have arrived at. As far as the FSA is concerned, guided sales is in a holding pattern and it is waiting for the industry to come forward with suggestions.”

He considers that the challenge for the industry is to encourage the mass market to engage in financial services so that their basic financial needs can be met.

He says: “The bigger national advice firms see themselves sitting in the new model of independent financial advice but with a foot in the mass market. There is huge poten- tial for innovation there.”

An FSA spokesman says “The claim that guided sales are in a holding pattern is accurate. Guided sales are not central to our proposals but it is something that we are keen to engage with the industry on.”

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “The industry needs to grasp this opportunity by the horns. Consumers need very cheap, simple routes to getting advice and the industry should embrace technology to deliver this.”

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