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Online comments from last week

Online comments related to article: FSA fine money to be spent on helping armed forces

I’m a former reservist and whilst I have the utmost admiration for the armed services this initiative is completely wrong headed.

If the the families of fallen servicemen and women need help then help them. What have the fines on FS firms got to do with it. How about parking fines? Or Air passenger duty?

Dog whistle politics.

Sam De Zoysa

I have every sympathy with the way in which our armed forces are taken for granted and, generally, treated quite badly – I served for 18 years myself. However, this re-direction of FSA fines is just a political stunt to make David Cameron look a little more caring (just like the billions spent on overseas aid). The armed forces should be looked after properly without this posturing. The fines should be used directly within the industry to keep the ever-soaring regulatory costs to an acceptable level.

As an ex serviceman who did 15 years and having last Saturday taken part in the “Ride to the Wall” to support our troops, I feel that I am qualified to say this is wrong. The forces have always been funded from the collective taxes and the public purse, to use the fines to support them is wrong.

Furthermore, the FSA has grown on the back of these fines since inception and we are now stuck with the costs of this body together with the cost of the growing FSCS and the FOS.

Now with the exodus of advisers about to happen is not a great time to introduce a 20% plus fee hike.

Robin Seymour

How very “political”. It is gross. As my husband prepares for his third deployment to Afghanistan as a reservist I could not agree more that he (and I) expect the support he deserves to come from the nation he serves, prepared to commit the appropriate resources to those fighting and to those recovering, not scraping odds and sods of money from disgraced businesses.
And what’s the incentive to perform better if all we do is make life more difficult for the deserving beneficiary?

Gill Cardy

Clutching at straws. I predict that Mr Cameron will be a one term prime minister. It was for him that ‘The Thick of It’ devised the term omnishambles and this type of silly, muddled thinking proves he is simply not up to the job.

Soren Lorenson

Online comments relating to article: Witan to switch off all trail commission

In terms of clarity and the removal of any potential conflicts of interest, this is a positive move by Witan. I wonder if the fund management industry is about to take a decision that the FSA never had the stomach for?

By allowing trail commission for all pre RDR investment business, the FSA knew they were allowing a distortion of the playing field. There is the potential for clients whose investments are paying trail commission to receive no ongoing advice, so that the commission continues to accrue.

It’ll be an unpopular move among advisers, but only about 150 of them. It should however serve as a warning bell to all advisers to look at all investments where they receive ongoing trail commission and plan for the worst.

Dennis Hall

Are Witan going to reduce their ongoing charges ? How will not paying mean that clients get advice without double paying? Does no-one feel they have to honour agreements ? Perhaps their terms of business were cleverly written so as to allow this company to cease future payments.

If this is the future under RDR then god help the public.

John Blackmore

This could well be the start of a number of providers deciding this is a good move. It will simplify their charging structures and put the onus on IFAs and financial planners to ensure that they have proper fee agreements in place with their clients.

It could be a positive move if the wider fund industry adopts a similar stance, if not it could be Witan seriously harming their distribution channel – funnily enough the next 11 weeks will very interesting. Perhaps Witan do not have IFA support as a key element of their business plan going forward?

Martin Bonynge

Online comments related to article: Alan Lakey to stand for Aifa council as SJP considers membership

A very positive step that will add, in football parlance, “strength and depth to the squad” to cope with the challenges a post RDR world will present to advisers and consumers alike.

Derek Bradley

I have nominated Alan to the Board. There are three vacancies this year with Harry Katz standing down and the two existing members, Gary Bottriell and Dick Carne are both very deserving of re-election. If you are an AIFA member with a vote I urge you to support Gary, Dick and Alan. If you are not an AIFA member I urge you to join.

Neil F Liversidge

I will not be renewing my membership if restricted advisers are allowed to join after all where is the voice of the true independent financial adviser nowadays.

We need to work with the regulator to create a better system for all rather than always striking out and jeering from the sidelines that will get us nowhere.

Where is the help from AIFA in raising the profile of qualified independent financial advisers and getting the message across to the general public of the RDR changes. Instead of the wishful thinking that regulation will be changed at the last moment maybe it’s time to start promoting to the general public the proposed changes.

If I was a member of the general public at present I wouldn’t know the difference between chartered financial adviser and independent financial adviser as a reality there is no difference as they both hold an SPS certificate. Maybe AIFA should be putting some of its resources into getting the regulator to promote what RDR means to the consumer and an SPS logo would be good starting point.

Just waiting for all of the negative comments as usual but reality is only two months away.

Peter Herd

Online comments relating to article: Nic Cicutti: RDR shines a much needed light

The RDR will also focus consumer’s mind on cost rather than value which may undermine responsible IFAs who truly cost their advice. That is perhaps unhealthy especially when it is very difficult to explain just how high our true costs are. Having just prepared our initial meeting documents for post RDR meetings, it will take an hour at £150 per hour to explain them! Fortunately we have been on the page that we disclose full costs to our clients and what they can expect for some time and so the RDR is not really a threat and perhaps an opportunity. For some advisers though, I could not agree with you more.

Sam Caunt

All the recent reviews I have been doing have some very confused clients when it comes to RDR and the media coverage These are relatively financially savvy people who do actually read the mountains of paper they receive I suspect. I know due to the type of questions they ask.

What is interesting to us is the questions about ‘why would I want to switch my advisers fee or commission off? If I do that then you would not do your job surely?’ – that was yesterday confused question as a result of the Funds Network letter.

The day before was ‘Do I really need to know the details of what goes out and who get what? I only want to know what it costs me?’ I was explaining the unbundled charges on the Aviva wrap.

Sorry Nic but I dont think the public at large care a lot about RDR or charges in detail or the choices it gives the public. It is more an industry obsession and a slight nasal gazing I feel.

As an IFA and you as a journalist, even the regulators – find all this stuff interesting because its our jobs to know. Clients find it irrelevant to them as they want to know what it costs and what they get for their money – that is all.

Greg Heath

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