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Opportunity is lost as stakeholder steamrollers in

IFAs are probably hoping stakeholder proves an elaborate April fool.

Stakeholder could prove disastrous and at best will cause a great deal of pain for limited benefit.

Thousands will misbuy because the 1 per cent charge cap precludes advice. Several traps, including the relationship with state benefits and contracting out, have been left unsprung. Decision trees completely failed their consumer testing, with few bothering to complete them but the regulator brazenly claimed a success.

The FSA, DSS and Treasury are placing different emphases on advice. On a harsher interpretation, they have recently contradicted each other. Stakeholder also risks widespread blight because it ignores all proven sales channels.

It has brought the worst short termism from ministers when a U-turn on the 1 per cent cap was the honourable course while a small group of cheerleading providers allowed the Government to claim industry support when honest criticism was required.

It is also exposing the naivety of some national newspapers as they promote a “great deal for consumers” while providers are pulverised in the act of providing it.

Bizarrely, many IFAs will still prosper, shifting to fees, cross-selling to employers or finding consumers, daunted by the mess, paying for advice. Yet for some firms it will be a stake through the heart.

The saddest thing about the stakeholder is it is just three or four significant but easily taken steps from success. It is financial services&#39 greatest missed opportunity in the last 20 years.


Experts say there&#39s still no decision on exit penalties

Pension experts claim the issue of exit penalties incurred when switching from group personal pensions to stakeholder has not been resolved by the Government and regulators despite the introduction of stakeholder this week. They also claim last month&#39s final regulations contained an extra admin burden for providers but the Government did not consult the industry. […]

Out with the old, in with the new style

A look at the history of commission shows that every 12 years there is a fundamental change to the basis for calculating the amount payable. In 1976, the change was from the sum assured basis to the premium basis known as the LOA (Life Offices Association) basis. In 1988, to comply with the Financial Services […]

Yawning gap in IFAs&#39 expectations

Will unleashing the dogs work for the Government&#39s stakeholder plans? Do IFAs view this new market as an opportunity to introduce financial planning to the masses or just another shaggy dog story?It is difficult to get an overall view about how they are approaching the market but here are the views of some DBS members.Stakeholder: […]

Sway appoints Winders

Sway is appointing Peter Winders as sales director, to work in the targeting of clients outside the UK, particularly in the Middle East.Winders joins from Sarasin Investment management where he was responsible for international sales and marketing.Sway chief executive Jon Maguire says: “peter has significant senior management experience in the retail collective arena. He brings […]


Employer iPMI responsibilities could continue to escalate, says Jelf

New laws in Dubai will put the burden of providing international private medical insurance (iPMI) firmly on the shoulders of the employer in order to maintain the country’s leading healthcare facilities. With 10,000 UK nationals having moved to the country since 2007 and only 16.5 per cent of the total 8.2 million people living there being Emiratis, Jelf Employee Benefits believes this move was inevitable and employer responsibilities could continue to escalate in future.


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