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IFAs urged to welcomelife industry standards

IFAs should welcome the ABI&#39s proposals to establish standards across the life industry, says a taskforce chaired by Aifa director general Paul Smee.

The Savings and Long Term Risk initiative is to provide accreditation for life office brands.

IFAs had expressed concerns that the initiative would grant accreditation more easily to providers which use direct salesforces rather than those that use independent advisers.

IFAs feared the original proposals left them beholden to life offices over the way they conducted their business.

But the taskforce concludes these concerns have been addressed.

It says the scheme will facilitate a better working relationship between providers and life offices.

It has made a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring IFAs do not suffer from Saltr.

The taskforce agrees with the ABI that the cooling-off period during which customers can decide to cancel their policy should be set at 30 days instead of the proposed 60- day period.

The report also suggests the Saltr promise on appropriateness of advice should not imply the product provider is responsible for the advice given by an IFA. It has reworded the promise to remind investors they have statutory rights to receive compensation if it is proved the recommendation has been unsuitable.

All the report&#39s recommendations have been accepted by the ABI and will form part of the Saltr proposals.

The committee has been discussing Saltr for three months. It is made up of eight representatives of IFA firms and life offices.

Smee says: “Our concerns have been addressed. You can see positives coming out of this. We have done an awful lot to ensure it does not interfere with the client IFA relationship.”


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