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Online comments realting to Ed Miliband’s attack on pension charges:

It is deja vu all over again, as Babe Ruth is alleged to have said.

Remember the Individual Pensions Account, launched with a fanfare of inaccurate PR back in about 1999 by Alastair Darling? If not, it’s hardly surprising.

The IPA was going to roll back rip-off pensions charges, which could result in “more than a third of investors’ money disappearing in charges”, said dear Alastair. However, only one scheme was ever launched, by Virgin Money, which was nothing more than a rebranding of their personal pension plan.

When politicians try designing products, the result is inevitably a complete waste of money. But then again, most activities of politicians seem to be consist of wasting public money. It’s the only area of expertise they possess.

Jim Roberts

Has Ed Miliband ever read a book or newspaper? or financial website on this subject? He seems to be teeing up something that will appear as though from January adviser charging was his idea and he “won this” for the general public.

He cannot do his sums, he doesn’t know what he is talking about. His party presided over the biggest mess in financial services and introduced stakeholder which failed, because charges are a tiny reason why people don’t save. Has he been locked away in a cupboard for all these years?… or will someone please escort him to one, so that his more intelligent brother could provide some form of sensible opposition to to Government. Who on earth is advising him?

Dominic Thomas

Ed and his advisers are showing, as usual, that they no very little about what they spout about. And, just to underline other contributors’ comments, if anyone in this country still believes that the Labour party has a clue about anything remotely concerned with economics and finance then they must have been living on a different planet between 1997 and 2010.

All I have to say to Miliband is PFI.

Bill Wells

This is simply another attempt at political headlining by a misinformed desperate politician equally desperate to improve his ratings by jumping on the pension’s band wagon and whipping financial institutions who are expected to work for free. I thought he was an idiot now he’s proved it (or should I say, proved it again)..

Malcolm Coury

What frightens me on these soundbites is that these people like Ed could one day end up in number 10. With politicians so clearly ignorant of the facts it is no wonder our country has major issues. Forget MAS educating the unwashed masses, our politicians don’t even understand our finances.

Greg Heath

Can somebody please name any pension company that charges 4% per annum? I’ve never come across one. This guy is making a myth sound like fact.

James Hurdman

Ed will not reach no 10 his own party will remove him, as this incident shows he cannot detect suspect information and that will be his downfall. Fully needs to remember that Kinnock had a similar lead at the very time it didnt matter, polls when elections are far away with small samples tell us nothing.

Rob Reid

Online comments responding to last week’s column from Foot Anstey partner Alan Hughes: “Why has the FSA’s role in banking failure been missed?”

Personally for what it is worth I have no doubt that Andrew Tyrie will handle the latest task efficiently and thoroughly. Also that the role of the FSA will come under close scrutiny as a result.

Just a word about staff swapping over. The majority of the FSA staff simply do what they are told and in my dealings with the rank and file they have been helpful and (believe it or not) quite affable. No one should have any problems with them effectively keeping their jobs. It is the men and women at the top, the decision makers, whose feet should not touch the ground. Most of them appear to have taken the hint already.

Blair Cann

When we look back and consider the evolution of systemic failures the FSA will be one of the more obvious examples of malfunction.

The detriment resulting from bank mis-selling, rate fixing and other obvious and yet to be discovered conniving will be seen to dwarf the other so called examples of consumer detriment which have been trotted out as the basis of the RDR.

Alan Lakey

The article poses the question, “Why has the FSA’s role in banking failure been missed?”

The answer for me is very simple: it hasn’t, it’s just that it is the ‘elephant in the room’ that neither the FSA nor Parliament wishes to deal with, because to do so would mean both admitting their own respective failures.

That Parliament failed to hold the FSA accountable is no surprise. Why would they when getting to grips with the fine detail of the workings of the financial universe is so hard and there is “apparently” a tough and uncompromising regulator on the case – no need for politicians, even those on the Treasury select committee, to get too bothered by any of that stuff.

That the FSA failed is no surprise either: employing former bankers hoping (in my opinion) to be future (higher paid) bankers is a clear conflict of interest.

Allied to this conflict we had the “don’t just stand there, do something” mentality which led them to set about that hotbed of systemic risk, the IFA community (which let’s face it can’t even agree amongst itself about the simplest issue, let alone agree on how to manage the FSA attack). This has however been sufficient for many years for the FSA to justify itself as a proactive and effective regulator – the very same tough and effective regulator upon whom Parliament placed so much reliance.

The benefit of hindsight shows us the reliance of Parliament on the regulator was wrong; the free rein given by Parliament to the regulator was wrong and the lack of any perceptible questioning of the regulator by Parliament was, and continues to be, wrong.

Alan B


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  1. Really good and true comments above unlike what Ed said….

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