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Paper mountain will seem more like a molehill

2004 will be the year when the axe will finally fall on polarisation. After at least four years of consumer research, draft proposals and much deliberation, the rules will finally be changed some time in the new year.

The details of the new menu, along with draft depolarisation rules, should emerge in February. The FSA has assured us that the menu will apply across all channels. So expect some smiley, happy faces at your local bank and building society.

The FSA has assured us that 2004 equals fewer consultation papers – around 30 instead of 60, to be exact. At least one of these will be on the regime for the Sandler products. Filtered questions have so far failed to deliver 20 per cent of consumers with the right outcome. We should see a decision from the Treasury on the price cap for these products, too.

Then there is professional indemnity insurance. We will keep beavering away at this one, both at home and abroad with our European colleagues.

I sincerely hope that in 2004 a new approach to this problem will emerge.


On the four front

Times have been particularly challenging for IFAs over the last three years and 2004 is shaping up to be one of the most demanding. Mortgage advisers and lenders will have to cope with sweeping changes brought by the move to statutory regulation. Pension advisers will need to provide clear guidance to clients in the run-up […]

A recipe for PI but menu is undercooked

I am reasonably optimistic for the IFA sector. I think they have been through the worst of it. Professional indemnity is still an unresolved issue but I believe it will be a short-term problem, with more mutual schemes springing up.2004 will be an opportunity for IFAs who are really on the ball to voice their […]

Slower rates of change in protection market

With product changes and over 40 rate changes, the protection market during 2003 was volatile to say the least.In 2004, we expect further rate and product changes. Liverpool Victoria has recently announced a rate change for January but hopefully we will see less frequency and less volatility. The market should stabilise compared with 2003.The critical-illness […]

Nationwide – 3 Year Tracker Mortgage

Type: Tracker mortgage Tracker term: Three years Tracker rate: Up to 95% of valuation &#45 Bank of England base rate plus 0.69%,up to 90% of valuation &#45 base rate plus 0.29%, up to 75% of valuation &#45 base rate plus 0.19% Minimum loan:£1 Maximum loan: Up to 95% of valuation subject to a maximum of […]


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