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Online comments from last week

A positive and pragmatic move. It does what it says on the can.

To borrow on Steve Jobs’ wise words: “A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

Let’s hope that will be the outcome for APFA in their adviser representations going forward.

Derek Bradley

Independence is not everyone’s cup of tea. I can see some of the arguments for a restricted approach, though that is not for me. There are numerous scare tactics around to convince people to ditch independence. Little positive encouragement in the independent space – and that is the key. Independence is for people who are independent of vested interests,

No longer can the providers chip in for an AIFA to promote them, they must do it themselves. SJP and every other restricted operation will be spending millions over the next year to promote why restricted is independent-ish, and you shouldn’t really worry about the ish. Aifa have to go this way, I guess, to retain their scale and size and salaries, but there must be a new focused and effictive representation for independent people. And there is.

The IFA Centre through Gill Cardy have already got the ear of the all-party select committee on Arch Cru, with scant resources compared to the established trade bodies. Those who are staying independent need to support the IFA Centre, to ensure someone is there to effectively present the positives of independence. It’s only a couple of hundred quid a year, so do it – NOW.

If the lines are allowed to be blurred then those who retain the clients’ best interests and their independence will regret a small outlay every Sunday reading the papers and seeing the results of expensive lobbying from the restricted gang.

I’ve no issues with anyone going retsricted for a host of good reasons, but those who are going to retain the gold standard and retain their independence need to ensure their representation is funded and join the IFA Centre today.

Alan Mellor

Online comments relating to article: Emma Simon: Regulator must get tougher on bank sales

I think it is fair to say that IFAs – which are often SMEs – have borne the brunt of the financial services regulation while the banks have been able to keep on selling to average people coming in off the street. The difference between Independent Financial Advisers who must spend huge resources on regulator observances in order to stay in business and the ‘salespeople’ in bank branches is fundamental to the issues around advice in the UK.

On this occasion I would agree with a criticism of the sale of some structured products. There have been some appalling products pushed on people by certain banks with terms that as Chartered Independent Financial Advisers we have been highly critical of and from which we have advised our clients to stay well clear.

The structured products that providers distribute through IFAs (eg. http://tinyurl.com/cdrwcbq) have to stand up to the scrutiny of the people who are advising on investments on a professional level and who have the facilities to research and compare the products in detail. That also is a fundamental difference.

Ian Lowes

Why does everyone keep going on about the incentive schemes? They are an irrelevance and simply a consequence, not the problem. In a dark boardroom somewhere in Canary Wharf the people charged with running the bank made a decision that they wanted to sell shedloads of a particularly profitable product to as many people as possible. That’s the problem: the culture of the bank, not the mechanics applied to get its minions to sell it.

Jeremy Stuart-Cox

Online comments relating to article: LV= unveils gender pipeline strategy

Good to see LV= giving clarity and joining other friendly societies like British Friendly who already have gender-neutral rates for IP and have had since launch.

Mark Myers

Good to see another Insurance Co be prepared to assist intermediaries. Where are the big boys such as Aviva and Legal and General with their plans?

John Evans

Nice positive step from LV=, particularly in relation to a switching rates on 1 December. What we now need is everyone else to adopt the same deadlines and procedures and stretch them across all products. This would be the best way to treat customers (and intermediaries) fairly.

Rob Quayle

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