View more on these topics

Letter to the editor: The problem with simple products

I am all for non-toxic products but, in order to meet that criterion, charges are going to have to stay low – and that leads to the next problem. Who will distribute them? As we all know, financial products, don’t sell themselves and a shiny array of kitemarked products won’t help anyone if all they do is sit, stakeholder-esque, on the shelves.

Low charges mean IFAs can’t do the distribution. Given the compliance regime they have to operate in, it’s simply not financially viable.

Maybe the banks could but, let’s be honest here, their past forays into the distribution of financial products hardly fills one with optimism. Anyway, I can’t see banks rushing to knock out these ‘low-margin’ offerings. Not when there are other, much more lucrative, options to sell their hapless customers.

If the legislators and regulators want to shift these kitemarked products, the only way is to make them easy to recommend and, unpalatable as the FSA or it’s successors may find it, that means taking out the regulatory risk.

Design them well, kitemark them clearly and then introduce protections, for those who distribute them, from litigious action or regulatory sanction down the line.

Ivor Harper
Park Financial


Ignis reports fall in profits and AUM amid restructure

Ignis has reported a 6 per cent fall in operating profit which reached £43m in 2012, down from £46m in 2011. The asset manager says this is largely due to the renegotiation of its joint venture deals and run-off of its life company assets via parent company Phoenix. During 2012, Ignis terminated its joint venture […]

L&G £131m Cofunds buy shows squeeze on platform margins

Advisers and platform specialists say Legal & General’s acquisition of Cofunds is proof of how difficult it is for platforms to build value. L&G this week acquired the 75 per cent of Cofunds it did not already own for £131m following months of negotiations between the businesses. The deal values the platform at £175m, to […]

Govt aligns tax treatment of onshore and offshore bonds

The Government plans to change the tax treatment of “chargeable gains” on onshore bonds to bring them in line with offshore bonds. Under current rules investment gains on onshore and offshore bonds are treated differently when an investor moves out of the UK. For an offshore bond the proportion of any investment gain that is […]

FCA concern over distributors’ ‘complex charging structures’

The Financial Conduct Authority has raised concerns over distributors’ use of “complex charging structures” when selling long-term investment and pension products. In its first annual risk outlook, the FCA, which comes into force next week, says it has concerns about charging structures in “highly intermediated” markets. It says: “Complex and often highly intermediated distribution chains […]

Stop the cold-calling

Royal London is pleased to support the petition calling for a ban on cold-calling for pension and investment products. The petition, launched by IFA Darren Cooke of Red Circle Financial Planning and hosted on the Parliamentary website, calls on the Government to ban cold-calling for pensions and investment products. A similar ban is already in force […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm