Concerns from advisers are missing the point of the Treasury’s project led by Carol Sergeant.
Their criticisms are:
(a) danger of misbuying a ‘lower quality’ protection product;
(b) rejection of the BSI kitemark suggesting it is an upper-end-of-scale product and (c) it has been tried before and failed (CAT standards and stakeholder products);
These negative comments come from product (or advice) sellers who should know that:
(a) Any form of savings or life insurance is better than none
(b) a recognisable, respected logo is desperately needed for consumers to begin to regain trust from an industry that has, as a whole, immensely betrayed their trust – through greed, incompetence and fraud, and
(c) the last comment displays sad ignorance; ask any Olympic medallist.
The Simple Products team found that:
(a) 30m adults have insufficient savings (8mn have none);
(b) 20mn adults with dependents have no life insurance, and
(c) very low levels of financial literacy exist across the nation.
In “Simon’s View”, Emma goes further saying that adding a layer of “fair-deal-but-not-best-buy” just adds another layer of complexity to an already a bewildering choice of products.
Really? Do four new (government-approved) products added to the 23,000 financial product choices and 2,000+ mortgage choice variations (non-approved) justify her “fair-deal-but-not-acknowledged” critique?
All Advisers should inform clients enthusiastically about these new ‘plain vanilla’ products.
Why? Because they will refer these products to their less well-off elderly, friends or kids; helping them to make decisions they need to make, and giving you the credit for the free tips.
Secondly, it opens the discussion with no sales pressure so clients can understand the basics, especially on life insurance (even for the HNWIs).
What a gift to start a conversation (like NEST). From there it should be possible to judge if higher options that Advisors offer are appropriate.
Is this not Best Advice and TCF?
I attended an IFS talk last week given by Carol Sergeant. We spoke with her afterwards for some time.
I left convinced that her team’s thorough efforts in the past 17 months were in the best interest of the unloved mass; unloved by advisers for opportunity cost reasons. Furthermore, post RDR, this project could not be more relevant due to the sudden advice vacuum in the mass market.
Readers need to know that she chaired this Steering Group pro bono. Over 50 organisations took part across the entire financial services industry.
Let’s stop bickering, be positive and help rebuild the finances of even those who cannot afford our services.
Only then will the UK regain its dignity and strength – before the EU collapse (in 2014) and China’s world dominance (predicted in three years’ time) have a chance to overwhelm us.