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Is the Government putting the cartel before the horse?

The &#39son&#39 of Myners has been revealed as Mr Ron Sandler, a Lloyd&#39s of London man, presumably to the relief of the Gartmore chairman who can now concentrate on fund management.

Money Marketing remains unconvinced of a need for a review, given the overlap with several FSA initiatives. But the appointment of a neutral is good news.

But we would offer some advice. First, companies often consider what change would help their business and then make this change “coincide” with the consumer interest.

It is also important to consider the extent to which sales of different types of funds rely, at least partly, on what the public can be convinced to buy.

Finally, where knowledge gaps are discovered, consideration should be given to the fact the rules are being turned inside out while doing business has got tougher.

We also hope that Sandler is brave enough to consider the price-capping of stakeholder and Isas, which is arguably the ultimate commission distortion.

It may be an irony that the appointment coincides with Government plans to attack cartels in other industries when its financial services policies may be creating one.

If polarisation goes, many IFAs fear a handful of big insurers and bancassurers will sew up financial services distribution as the supermarkets have for food.

Sandler may discover investment flows are distorted, just as other actions by Government and the FSA freeze that distortion in place.


Neutral territory

Last week, on a round-trip train journey between London and Leeds, I had to read all 134 pages of the FSA&#39s approach to the regulation of e-commerce. Somewhere around page 50,I found myself looking for a door to jump out of. Unfortunately on the current GNER rolling stock you cannot do this while the train […]

Lipper launches new fund rating service

Fund research specialist Lipper has launched a new funds rating system, Lipper Leaders, that will list funds who perform distinctly superior compared to their peers. All funds tracked by Lipper are given a rating of one through five. Those funds that receive a one either for consistent returns or preservation of capital will be designated […]

Yorkshire looking to long term

Our decision to continue the debate on how IFAs are paid for selling mortgages is brought about by a number of issues currently in the public domain.The current market dynamics are fine for borrowers who are shopping around for a new mortgage on a regular basis but most of the current deals leading the market […]

Exclusive Connections launches fixed rate loan

Mortgage packaging network Exclusive Connections is launching a 5.99 per cent fixed rate loan funded by Bank of Scotland subsidiary The Mortgage Business. Fixed until September 2004, the mortgage is open to employed and self-employed borrowers with a minimum income of £10,000. Income multiples are 3.5 times single income or 2.75 times joint, up to […]


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