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[Leader] Fine time to stop and bring in some common sense

It beggars belief that in the same month as the FSA proposes handing a massive advantage to the high-street banks in pensions, it should exact a thumping£0.75m in fines from one of the big four.

The PIA has fined NatWest £500,000 for failures by its pension salesforce in 1997 which alarmingly included producing inadequate reason-why letters. NatWest is also having to pay a further £250,000 to Imro for failings in its unit trust business.

It is not Money Marketing&#39s habit to crow over fines levied against any company or firm, regardless of size.

But before embarking on the sham con sultation for depolarising stakeholder pro ducts and Cat-standard Isas in a frantic bid to boost sales, the regulator and the Trea sury should at least pause for thought.

This “consultation”, we presume, will finish before stakeholder&#39s April launch but this first stage at least seem to be a fait accompli. We hope common sense will prevail but fear it will not.

As for our Poles Apart campaign, we have this week got industry experts to answer our questions. We were never optimistic that the FSA or Treasury would answer the questions. It would have required them to face up to uncomfortable truths and the truth has been a bit of a stranger in this whole process.

But the campaign will continue in an updated form. Money Marketing will continue to call for openness and to expose the hidden agendas behind the changes.

At the very least, we will put the industry&#39s warnings to Government and FSA as they blindly embark on the creation of their own pension scandal.


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Royal & SunAlliance Investments – Maximum Income Bond Fund

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Rulebook breaches cost NatWest £750k

NatWest Bank has been fined a total of £750,000 by industry regulators the PIA and Imro for rulebook breaches. The bank must also pay £2.35m in compensation to about 4,500 investors for failing to give agreed discounts. The PIA fined NatWest £500,000 for compliance failings which were discovered during monitoring visits in 1997, including a […]

Henderson picks ScotEq stars to head tech fund

Henderson has poached one of the UK&#39s top-rated technology teams from Scottish Equi table Asset Management to replace its own star managers who quit to set up a boutique in September. Stuart O&#39Gorman and Paul Kleiser will replace Tim Woolley and Brian Ashford-Russell as managers of Henderson&#39s £163;1.3bn global technology unit trust at the start […]

How to use wills to protect your clients’ wishes

March was Free Wills Month! Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations around England and Wales. Research by the Law Society* highlighted that only 64 […]


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