16 June 2016

Catriona Standingford: Exam options for entry-level staff

Discussions about qualifications usually revolve around Level 4 or Level 6. However, many businesses have a need to train staff who have little or no knowledge of financial services, and who do not need to jump in at the deep end with Level 4 exams. Indeed, we often hear from managers that are not sure […]


Malcolm Kerr: Paving the way for retirement bank accounts

It is over a year since pension freedoms were unleashed, creating unexpected opportunities and challenges for asset managers, insurers, platforms, regulators, advisers and – last but by no means least – consumers. We have been involved with all of these constituencies as the market has grappled with the implications of this seismic change to the […]


Sam Rees-Adams: The importance of doing nothing

Many years ago I taught a boy who regularly complained his mind was full and he could not learn any more. Funnily enough, his mind always seemed to become full when he was asked to do something he did not want to do. He was a modern day Hamlet, seemingly aware of the danger of […]


Can advisers overcome their doubts on workplace advice?

Advisers used to dealing with individuals may shy away from the corporate advice market because they think it is too difficult to enter. But auto-enrolment and the Financial Advice Market Review have highlighted the potential of the workplace as somewhere people can access financial services, bringing greater opportunities for advisers. With this in mind, SimplyBiz […]


Ian McKenna: Pensions dashboard is obsolete before it has even begun

Although not originating from the Financial Advice Market Review, the commitment to delivering a pension dashboard was one of its most valuable recommendations. Successful implementation could make key information on savings far more accessible to consumers and provide a foundation for delivering better advice and guidance. Sadly, however, it looks like the actual pension dashboard […]

Platforum head of intermediary research Miranda Seath

Platform focus: The critical difference for Zurich’s platform

This week we take a look at Zurich’s intermediary platform proposition, which the Swiss insurer launched in 2013. The platform has a mix of workplace and advised assets on it, with 89 per cent sitting in the pension wrapper. Assets under administration stood at £17.1bn in Q1, growing by 4.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter. The Zurich […]

Lee Robertson

Lee Robertson: The high cost of vertical integration

Lines have become increasingly blurred between the various elements and disciplines in the financial eco-system. Back office providers are launching robo-advice services, data providers are launching model portfolios and active and passive fund managers are launching passive and active funds respectively. Meanwhile, adviser platforms are offering discretionary services, fund managers are buying platforms and some […]


‘Cofunds should brace for more outflows’ as deal looms

Advisers are likely continue to pull assets away from Cofunds regardless of the continued uncertainties around the sale of the business, experts are predicting. Cofunds has lost £500m of its retail assets as advisers switch away from the platform, Platforum estimates. According to a Q1 adviser survey conducted by Platforum, 42 per cent said “commitment of the […]

Danby Bloch

Danby Bloch: Lessons from 30 years in tax planning

Financial advisers often need to plan for 30-year periods. Indeed, lives divide into roughly 30-year intervals: in the first 30 years, many people find they are either financially dependent or saving very little, then there is usually about 30 years’ worth of saving from their 30s to 60s, followed by about 30 years of retirement […]


Kim North: FCA’s reasons for dropping FSCS product levy are weak

Year after year I despair at the cost for advisers of the Financial Ombudsman Scheme and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme when I read their annual results. More than half of the total number of complaints dealt with by the FOS last year involved four banking groups, while 4,076 financial businesses accounted for just three […]