13 April 2017


Simple language is the key to great client engagement

I received an email from a marketing agency last week, which made me laugh and despair at the same time. Perhaps they thought I would be impressed by the complex language and jargon, or encouraged to work with them thanks to their access to “doctorate level segmentation analytics” and ability to “finesse paradigms”. My first thought […]

Tony Wickenden: Servicing the growing army of self-employed

Over the last couple of weeks, I have considered the National Insurance changes Chancellor Philip Hammond proposed in his spring Budget and then, following the now famous U-turn, swiftly removed. The proposals served as evidence of the Treasury’s disquiet over the differences in the total NI liabilities of an identical sum generated from the employed […]


Kim North: Why suitability is subjective

The FCA’s feedback on examining over 1,000 adviser files as part of its suitability review will make interesting reading when the findings are announced in the next month or two. I have worked on disclosure and suitability reports for advisers and product providers for the last 35 years. In that time, I have found suitability […]


Do LGBT clients need specialist protection advisers?

The protection market needs to have wide appeal if it is to stand any chance of increasing take-up of its products. To have that appeal, people need to feel it is relevant and meets their needs. So does this mean we need more specialist products for niche areas of the market, rather than generalist products […]


Scott Gallacher: Why advisers should build a media profile

When I first joined Rowley Turton I knew little about financial advice. I quickly realised my boss, Alan Turton, was one of the good guys. He focused on providing excellent advice, never “sold” anything and trusted business success would ultimately follow. I fully agreed with his philosophy but the rewards did not follow quite as […]

Peter Hamilton: The meaning of advice is not that difficult

  The difference between regulated advice and mere guidance is not difficult to grasp. So it is concerning that FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones felt compelled to say in a speech earlier this year that new technology had made the divide between regulated advice and guidance more blurred. He said: “The problem is exacerbated further by […]

Ian McKenna: What next for the pensions dashboard?

Last week, developers from 21 diverse firms, ranging from long-standing financial technology companies to start-ups,  convened at Aviva’s digital garage. As part of a Treasury-led “tech sprint”, they designed prototype consumer-facing services built on the pension finder technology already established as part of the pension dashboard project. This may seem a relatively small step but […]

Malcolm McLean: Govt needs to stop using pensions as cash cow

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first (and last) Spring Budget was not quite the steady-as-you-go, non-controversial event it was supposed to be. A month on, we are still talking about the subsequent early U-turn on the planned increase he had announced on Class 4 National Insurance contributions for self-employed workers. Not only is the increase now unlikely […]

How to find returns in a frozen bond market

Five years ago, everyone was of the opinion the bond market was in its seventh‑inning stretch. Today, the same message is being repeated. While I agree that bond markets have been frozen at the seventh‑inning, I would also point out that we have been there for some time. The debt clock, showing the four stages […]