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Magnificent obsession

Harry Katz suggests in Money Marketing that I am becoming obsessive regarding both the FSA and the RDR.

While younger than Harry, I recently entered my 33rd year in the industry and can witness that never have the pension and protection gaps
been so wide. The country is in crisis and we are storing up financial chaos to be unleashed at a future date.

Regulation has rid the industry of the cowboys as well as badly designed and penal contracts. It has also rid the industry of 90 per cent of its distribution and the widening of the afore-mentioned gaps is not coincidental. The RDR promises more of the same, with dwindling adviser
numbers and fewer consumers engaging.

It is revealing that on the same day I read Harry’s letter, I also discovered that Prudential is planning to reactivate its direct salesforce – a recognition that products are sold and not bought.

Having a nucleus of highly qualified advisers with a fee basis that disenfranchises the majority of consumers is not a step forward. It might be for the CII and the PFS but it is not for society. In this context, it is no surprise that the RDR and this regulatory vandalism should exercise my mind on a regular basis.

ALAN LAKEY
partner,
Highclere Financial Services

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