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Is the ABI giving up the fight before round two starts?

IFAs should watch their backs.

Money Marketing understands that insurers are on the brink of raising the white flag on the second stage of the polarisation review.

Reliable sources say the ABI&#39s polarisation committee has voted overwhelmingly against putting up any opposition to what they believe is the inevitable – abolition of the current system.

The Treasury must be booking the security firm van to deliver the requisite 30 pieces of silver to Gresham Street.

This committee&#39s decision, if adopted as the ABI&#39s public stance, would be wrong.It would be rolling over before the consultation even begins, undermining anyone at the FSA who wants to hold the line.

A change in Government is unlikely but there may be new personnel at the Treasury after an election. There could even be a change of heart, prompted by the fallout from that most direct of life offices, Equitable Life.

It would also make a mockery of the insurers&#39 claim to care about consumers. The current ABI position says removing polarisation would damage consumers. Nothing has changed to justify a U-turn.

Finally, it would be a knife thrust between the shoulder blades of Aifa director general Paul Smee, raising serious questions about Aifa&#39s future relationship with providers, particularly financially.

We wish to emphasise this is not yet the ABI&#39s public position so there may still be time for it to see sense. We hope it does.

As for Aifa, IFAs must back it to the hilt. But Smee needs to realise the time for diplomacy is over. The gloves must come off.

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