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Industry must make its voice heard

Money Marketing warmly welcomes the fact that some companies and trade bodies have stopped giving a warm welcome to Government-inspired reviews.

We recklessly welcome the decision by several companies and trade bodies – to name but a few, Scottish Widows, Norwich Union, Scottish Life, Fidelity, Jupiter and the IMA – to stop giving cautious welcomes to policies which present a danger to their future success and to savers and investors.

No one is suggesting pursuing the Chancellor on his hols with placards saying “Raise the one per cent now” and “Active not passive” but if the industry believes that something is wrong, it should say so.

One dramatically changed factor is the long drawn-out stockmarket correction. This has hit investments and pensions but it has also undermined a lot of the bullish thinking about low-cost products and the role of trackers in getting the masses to save. Put another way, we wonder if the Sandler and Pickering reviews are bear market proof.

There are also increasing statistical concerns as consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton says pointedly that it simply provided the number-crunching for Sandler and has not signed up to the conclusions drawn from it.

This has echoes of CP121, where at least two contributing consultancies were at best lukewarm about the conclusions drawn from their work.

In this climate, it is essential that the industry speaks the truth clearly and unspun while those in charge need to listen to the dissenting voices as well as to those that agree. To do otherwise displays more unthinking bias than anything any IFA is supposedly guilty of.

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