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‘Icob and Cob are stifling business’

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey claims that Cob and Icob are restricting and inhibiting the financial services market.

Speaking at a Money Marketing round table, Lakey questioned the relevance of the rules governing the insurance and financial markets.

He said: “Is there any point in having Icob and Cob? To me, it restricts. If it restricts, it stops people selling which stops customers buying and inhibits the market.”

Lakey said advisers are being prevented from selling certain plans, not because the adviser is incapable of advising but because they fall outside Icob and into Cob.

He said: “Regulation should be devised in such a way that it can allow people to focus on the areas they work in and on their strengths.”

Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr said doing away with Icob could jeopardise businesses that specialise in protection products.

He said: “With the restriction on regulation, if you just had Cob, I am not sure that companies like us would exist because everyone would have to be a pension expert.”

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