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NCC wants taskforce on advice for lower-earners

The FSA should implement the defined-payment system but only when it has sorted out extending access to advice to lower-earners, says the National Consumer Council.

The call comes in the same week as the body representing IFAs within the FSA, the Small Business Practitioner Panel, says the regulator should drop the depolarisation proposals affecting IFAs.

The panel says the DP system and the FSA&#39s “narrow determinant” of what constitutes independent advice is damaging to the sector and will lead to far more IFAs than the FSA is expecting to stray to other channels.

It proposes a similar alternative as Aifa to the DP system with a menu option for disclosure allowing consumers to choose how they pay for advice.

The NCC, which is funded by the Government and industry, says commission distorts the market and is backing the DP system as a result.

It is more concerned with the needs of lower-earners and rejects the FSA&#39s lower-tier proposal, saying that simply adding another tier of advice is not the answer.

It calls on the Government to establish a taskforce to look at possible options to pay for advice for the less well-off, including a levy on the industry and public funding.

Senior policy officer James King says: “We accept the argument for reform because it will not make things worse and on occasion it may even make them better. We do not think polarisation or depolarisation is the answer to delivering advice to those who cannot currently afford it.”


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Abbey National launches fund supermarket

Abbey National has become the first high street bank to launch its own funds supermarket. It will be called FundsCentre and will carry 280 funds. Abbey National says the move is part of a strategy to boost its wealth management and savings business. It says it will demonstrate how a main high street name can […]

Bankhall founders leave after Skandia takeover

Bankhall founder directors David Warnock and Martyn Weaver are leaving the IFA services provider following its acquisition by Skandia.The boardroom shakeup leaves joint chief executives Paul Hogarth and Simon Taylor in control of the company.Both departing directors say they are happy to be leaving after a restructuring following Skandia&#39s takeover.Bankhall portal IFAengine managing director Warnock […]

US equities: opportunities for short sellers expand

Optimism is as American as baseball and apple pie. And since the financial crisis, being optimistic about US equities has paid off: they have outperformed every other major developed market by a comfortable margin. Yet while there remain plenty of good reasons to be optimistic about US equities, Stephen Moore, manager of the Artemis US […]


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