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Off-panel advice could be disastrous, says Smee

FSA proposals to allow multi-tied advisers to recommend products outside their usual range is a recipe for disaster and raises serious training and competence issues, claims Aifa director general Paul Smee.

The proposals, outlined in the draft rules for depolarisation in consultation paper 166, would allow tied or multi-tied advisers to recommend off-panel products if they felt the situation warranted it But Aifa says this would create a worrying situation as most tied advisers lack the competence to search the market for the most suitable product.

Sofa managing director Brian Lawless says the enormous costs associated with training advisers to be able to make recommendations from across the market would make many firms reluctant to allow their advisers to take advantage of the relaxation.

The FSA says any such recommendation would have to satisfy the suitability requirements. The regulator says it would allow individual companies to decide if this would be allowed and to police any recommendations.

Smee says: “Any ability for people to go out of range will raise serious training and competence issues as questions must be asked if they will be able to recommend products suitably.”

FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “We would expect it to be the exception to the norm but, where it works for consumers, then why not?”


NatWest gets on the case with self-cert

NatWest is making a concerted bid to win a bigger share of the intermediary market with the launch of its first self-cert mortgage which will initially only be available through IFAs and mortgage brokers. The move this month builds on its new intermediary branding launched early last year, with a private detective theme of Your […]

Mellon appoints COO

Mellon Global Investments has appointed Greg Brisk as chief operations officer. Brisk, previously European head of risk and compliance, will assume responsibility for Mellon&#39s global operations. He also joins the board of directors. Prior to joining Mellon in 1999 Brisk worked for the FSA, where he was a banking regulator with responsibility for London-based American […]

Fidelity Funds – Global Focus Fund

Friday, 31 January 2003 Type: Sicav Aim: Growth by investing in global equities Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,500, monthly £50 Place of registration: Luxemburg Investment split: 100% in global equities Isa link: Yes Charges: Initial 5.25%, 3.25% Isa, annual 1.5% Commission: Initial 3%, renewal 0.5% Tel: 0800 414181

Matrix Private Equity – Matrix Enterprise Fund II

Tuesday, 28 January 2003 Aim: Growth by investing in unquoted companies Minimum investment: Lump sum £25,000 Opening/closing date: January 20, 2003/April 5, 2003 Charges: Initial 5%, annual 2.5% Commission: Initial 3% Tel: 020 7292 0874


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