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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.”


Stick struck off list as Woolnough added

Hargreaves Lansdown has added Richard Woolnough’s M&G strategic bond to its Wealth 150 list and removed the Rathbone income fund, managed by Carl Stick.

Tax-free transfers

Pension transfers have been very much in the news recently with the FSA releasing its report on the quality of advice on pension switching and the impact of market volatility on fund values.

Gilts reward investors in fourth quarter

Investors in gilt funds were well rewarded in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to an annual review of the fixed interest sector from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Fund Services.

Europe gets tough on offshore bonds

The European Commission is set to crack down on offshore bonds, with UK insurers forced to install expensive cross-border reporting systems to increase transparency or slap a 10 per cent compulsory life cover on policies.


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