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Multi-ties could come in by end of the year

Multi-ties could exist as soon as the end of the year as the FSA estimates the final rules for depolarisation will be in place by the fourth quarter.

Their implementation comes sooner than expected as, following the publication of CP121 last January, it was estimated that depolarisation would not occur until at least mid-2004.

The FSA says final rules for the menu-based system and for distribution post-polarisation are expected to be published by the end of the year, when firms will be able to adopt them.

There will be a 12-month transitional arrangement in place for the industry to prepare itself, with the final deadline for compliance coming at the end of 2004.

Costs are also spelt out in CP166, with the regulator estimating that advisers and product providers will face a total bill of £102m to comply, with its own costs for implementation reaching £428,000.

Advisory & Brokerage Services chief executive Gareth Marr says: “I would like to think the FSA would be open to granting rule waivers for IFAs firms currently caught by better than best. It restricts what we can do for our clients.”

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