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Lockyer wants explanation from Standard&#39s Crombie on &#39cynical&#39 BBB comment

Berkeley Berry Birch chairman Clifford Lockyer is writing to Standard Life chief executive Sandy Crombie asking him to explain comments attributed to him in which he referred to “cynical” practices by BBB.

Crombie, testifying before the Treasury select committee last week, criticised BBB&#39s move to wind up its subsidiary company Berry Birch & Noble Financial Services, thereby ringfencing any potential liabilities, saying “these cynical practices are to be condemned”.

Lockyer is sending a letter to Crombie asking him to explain himself. He is also writing to Treasury select committee chairman John McFall to explain why the business decision has been taken by the listed IFA.

He says if the select committee wanted to know the thinking behind BBB&#39s decision, then they should have approached the company itself rather than asking third parties who are not involved.

Two weeks ago when testifying before the committee, Aifa director general Paul Smee was also asked what he thought about the move but, other than pointing out that it was permitted under company law, he declined to comment despite being pushed by MPs.

The decision to wind up BBNFS has left Lockyer open to claims that he is dumping potential liabilities on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and therefore IFAs&#39 shoulders. He has always denied such suggestions.

Lockyer says: “Quite clearly, there have been people who have made judgements in public without having all the facts. Heads of life companies should not make statements in public without all the facts.”

Thomson&#39s group chief executive Douglas Gardner says the FSA is failing the industry at home and abroad by its retitence in regulating reversion and losing out on EU issues


Douglas Gardner

Thomson&#39s group chief executive Douglas Gardner is not a man who takes negativity lightly and nay-sayers are one of his pet hates. “If you&#39re going to take a can&#39t-do attitude with me, then you had better have a very good reason for it,” he says, showing his disdain for an attitude he believes has done […]

Lords look at gender directive

A sub-committee of the Lords European Union committee, is carrying out a short focused enquiry into the proposed gender directive from the EU on equal treatment between men and women in supply of goods and services. Social and consumer affairs sub committee G is looking at the implications of the directive for insurance, pensions and […]

Chartwell launches new website

Chartwell Investment is launching a new website . The site designed with Plum Digital media will include commonly used products, Chartwell services, a fund supermarket and free guides on a range of topics.

Lifesearch looks for surge in electronic applications

Protection intermediary Lifesearch expects to increase its electronically submitted applications to 90 per cent in a move its says will allow it to deal with half of its weekly protection applications within a quarter of an hour. LifeSearch arranges insurance for around 400 families each week, with half covered in the same day without additional […]

The savvy consumer

In last year’s FCA thematic review of the mortgage market, one of the key things highlighted was the “savvy consumer”. That’s the client who comes in the door with a very clear idea of what they need and expect you to get them it. They don’t think they need advice, they have after all consulted […]


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