View more on these topics

McPhail fears FSA will lose patience on Omo

The FSA is losing patience with the industry over the open market option and is likely to force change in the next year, says Hargreaves Lansdown head of pension research Tom McPhail.

He told Money Marketing’s at-retirement round table: “I am willing to wager there will be significant movement in the next 12 months. The noises we are getting from the FSA are a lot stronger than we have had in the past. Even the noises we are getting from the Association of British Insurers, which in many cases fights the corner of deeply established providers, shows it recognises that we have got to move on this.

“You have the FSA, the new providers in the market and the media all supporting change. I sense there is a lot of momentum pushing for change.”

McPhail said he sees major differences between those life offices which are still open for business, with Standard Life being most efficient, and those that are closed. He gave the worst example as Windsor Life.

Partnership Assurance sales and marketing director Ruth Clarke said: “We have noticed that where administration has been outsourced, if service level agreements on those third-party administrators are relaxed to keep down costs, automatically you have created problems for your customers.”

But McPhail said there will be ways to make life offices behave responsibly under the FSA’s treating customers fairly initiative. He said: “There is a course of action the FSA can take, that is not just fining them but ultimately getting the shareholders to care. If they think it will have an impact on their dividends, you can get their attention.”

Recommended

How Pada is exploring the challenges lying ahead

Further to the article on personal accounts last week, we would like to point out that enforcement with the compliance regime is a matter for The Pensions Regulator.

Quantum of solace for bonds

This year is shaping up to be ghastly for stockmarkets. Yet with all falls, opportunities do arise and this is the case with corporate bonds. Indeed, Stephen Snowden of Old Mutual is so confident that he has put a considerable amount of his own money into his fund.

FSA alerts firms on boiler rooms

The FSA and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators Registrars Group have urged UKlisted companies to send warnings about boiler room operations to shareholders.

Soft focus

We hear much these days about compliance responsibilities, the need for constant documentation, record-keeping, transparency and so on, but we should not forget that the core of adviser/client interaction is about building a relationship. This is what training experts often refer to as soft skills and relationship selling – the building of trust, the understanding of client needs and using that information to advise and recommend the best solution. The client buys, rather than being sold, an appropriate product.

9 October thumbnail

Johnson Fleming set to host webinar on auditing auto-enrolment schemes

With 23 auto-enrolment compliance notices issued by the Pensions Regulator, and an evolving legislative landscape meaning previously compliant schemes may now be in breach of regulation, now is the time to think about auditing your auto-enrolment scheme. Johnson Fleming is hosting a webinar on 9 October at 11:00 on how to audit your scheme to ensure compliance, avoid breaches and fines and overcome data issues.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment