Lenders are using higher-rate call numbers to bleed intermediaries for cash to pay for the cost of regulation, says Mortgage Portfolio Services mort- gage planner Simon Chalk.Chalk says the proliferation of 0870 numbers since M-Day coupled with extensions in call waiting times means lenders are using the charges to get revenue for themselves while still not improving services. He says intermediaries should not be subsidising lenders’ services. Call charges are often not revealed in lenders’ ads and Chalk believes there has been some deterioration in phone call centre services and that it is unfair for lenders to be making profit out of poor service. In a random sample from the start of his database, Chalk says Abbey, Accord, Alliance & Leicester and Amber Homeloans all use 0870 numbers. While 0845 numbers charge a regional rate charge, 0870 and 0871 numbers can earn an organisation revenue for every call received and are often used for technical support lines. The FSA says it cannot force lenders to reveal call charges as they are not brea-king ad regulations. Chalk says: “If lenders want to charge premium rates, they should say so but offer a superb service. The reality is that we are subsidising their inefficiencies.” Brentchase Financial Services mortgage specialist Mich-ael Fitzgerald says: “These phone call charges are just the same as admin fees and exit fees. Is it paying off the cost of regulation and if so, shouldn’t this be handed over to the FSA?”
Seven Investment Manage-ment is aiming at the small and medium enterprise market with its corporate Sipp.
Selestia is adding 23 Schroder funds to its collective investment bond and offshore collective investment bond products.
Labour’s general election manifesto pledges to allow the financial services industry to prosper but has avoided any pension policy ommitments until after the autumn publication of the Turner report.
Standard Life has set up an online client view service to include its Sipp and mutual funds and allowing advisers to view all client policies in one window.
Investment Insights from Silicon Valley. The latest views from Allianz Global Investors and Walter Price, lead manager at Allianz Technology Trust – August 2016. Click here
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