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Online trees offer corporate audits

Scottish Life is launching an online stakeholder decision tree designed to generate an audit trail automatically for advice given to corporate clients.

It says the complicated nature of paper-based trees and the regulatory issues surrounding the use of decision trees have created serious problems for IFAs trying to advise clients within a 1 per cent charging cap.

The online tree produces a printed or electronic copy for the client, showing the path taken and the date and time of production records. The facility also produces a secure record of the precise route taken as well as allowing the IFA to make any additional notes.

The tree follows the paths and text as laid out in the FSA decision tree and contains a screen guide to the current position on the decision tree.

Under new regulations, those taking out a stakeholder pension by means of a category C direct-offer advertisement must first have been sent a decision tree.

Head of pension strategy Steve Bee says: “The official trees were not meant to be used to give advice, but in some circumstances it is necessary they are used as part of the distribution process. This in itself places even more onus on IFAs to maintain accurate and credible records. We hope to have made many IFAs&#39 lives that little bit more stress-free.”


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MP for Halifax Alice Mahon has tabled an early day motion signed by 88 MPs over the £28bn merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, questioning the decision to site its headquarters in Edinburgh. Mahon gathered support last week after discovering that the headquarters of the merged company, HBoS, will be at BoS&#39 base in […]

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I have not recommended investing in the Japanese stockmarket, except for some specialist smaller companies funds, for over 15 years. However, now I believe there are some good opportunities. This is because half the companies in the Topix index are trading at below book value and there are around 100 companies in Japan trading on […]

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The ability for staff to blow the whistle is always a very contentious issue. The Public Disclosure Act 1998 has been in force for two years and a number of employment tribunal cases are now starting to filter through. The main provisions of the act protect individuals who disclose information about certain kinds of wrongdoing […]


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