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It&#39s all or nothing for polarisation

A Treasury official has told the financial services industry that changes

to polarisation will be all or nothing, saying the only two options are the

status quo or scrapping the existing regime.

Questioned at a London conference this week, Treasury policy adviser Keith

Davis told delegates: “There are two options – to go no further with

changes or wholesale reform of the polarisation regime.”

But the debate has been complicated further with FSA head of business

conduct David Severn warning product providers not to count their chickens

on the outcome of the polarisation review, saying they may find themselves

worse off by acting on speculation.

But the odds shortened on the likelihood of change as Money Marketing this

week learnt that consultancy Charles River Associates, whose foun-ders

split from the now defunct consultancy London Economics, is working for the

FSA on phase two of the review.

London Economics was responsible for the polarisation report in 2000 which

recommended changes across the board to polarisation. CRA is now looking at

how the volumes of sales products are affected by commission levels – a

move that appears to stray into the Sandler review&#39s territory.

Davis described the second stage of looking at polarisation as the FSA&#39s

second bite at the cherry and that no further change is an option.

He hinted that the FSA would publish its phase two research in September

with a discussion or consultation paper before Christmas and a full debate

in the new year.

Severn says: “If we knew today that polarisation was done for, we would

not be hanging around until the end of the year to release a consultation


“Firms could be left at a disadvantage if the outcome they choose is not

the correct one. Things might turn out totally different from people&#39s



Clerical joins the race to buy IFAs

Clerical Medical has become the latest life office to join the scramble tosnap up IFA distribution. The life office, which has been one of the staunchest defenders ofpolarisation, is believed to have approached at least one national IFA andother smaller IFAs with a multi-tie proposition, with Clericalrepresentatives telling them that multi-ties are an inevitability. Devon-based […]

Winchester White picks chief exec

Specialist financial services management consultancy Winchester WhiteManagement Consultants has appointed David Grey as chief executive. Theformer director of operations joined the business in 1992 and will continueto develop the company&#39s strategic direction. He replaces Brian Wood.Principal consultant Aileen Croft is to become head of the life and pensionpractice and will be responsible for developing and […]

iShares – iBloomberg European Industrials

Monday, 23 July 2001.Type: Exchange traded fund.Aim: Growth by tracking the Bloomberg European investible industrials index.Minimum investment: Subject to negotiation with stockbroker.Maximum investment: None.Investment split: 100 per cent tracking the Bloomberg European investible industrials index.Place of registration: Dublin.Isa link: Yes.Pep transfers: Yes.Charges: Annual 0.5 per cent.Commission: None.Tel: 020 7668 8007.

Robert Reid

It has been said that fees for financial advice are not popular with thegeneral public. Taking this at face value, it could be argued that thepublic prefer “free” advice. I disagree. People like to know what they are getting for their money andit is the lack of information on the services that an IFA provides […]


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