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Life offices have power to end cap

Why is Nick Bamford wasting his time calling on Howard Davies to use his final months as chief executive of the FSA to push the Treasury to drop the price capping and filtered questions from the Sandler proposals? We already know that:

1: Howard Davies does not think either is a good idea(he has already said so more than once).

2: The Treasury takes little, if any, notice of anything that anyone says regarding its plans to reshape the financial services industry in whatever way it thinks fit.

3: The real power lies in the hands of the life companies because, if they do not market price-capped products, then their whole concept is stillborn.

The trouble here is that the bosses of most of the life companies are such a bunch of eunuchs that they will not stand up and simply say no.

I cannot understand why the industry is even entertaining any sort of dialogue on such a complete non-starter.

Have no lessons been learned from the stakeholder fiasco, other than how to lose a lot of money very quickly by agreeing to market a seriously underpriced fifth-rate product?

So what if people misbuy Sandler-style products? It won&#39t be anything to do with me or the rest of the IFA community – more likely the banks.

More fool those who confuse cheap with good and think that by cutting out the middleman they will be getting some kind of special value deal. In this life, nothing is for nothing and if something looks too good to be true, then it virtually always is. Some things are a lot more expensive than they ought to be as well, but that&#39s another story.

Julian Stevens WDS Independent Financial Advisers, Kingswood, Bristol

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