View more on these topics

PIA in call to keep polarisation

The PIA board has soundly endorsed polarisation, condemned multi-ties and called for maintenance of the status quo in its response to the FSA consultation.

The board says a robust IFA channel is necessary and changing it could cause substantive damage to consumer understanding of the marketplace.

The response is one of the strongest messages in favour of polarisation the FSA has so far received. It is especially significant because the PIA is part of the regulator rather than an outside interest.

The PIA&#39s report says no changes to the present regime need to be made and that multi-ties would constrain the marketplace. It says blurring the choice of channels of advice will not tempt consumers to shop around but will only add to their confusion. Nor will it increase competition in the market.

The report says: “Consumer benefit in the retail financial services market is well served by the continuity of business carried on by a robust independent financial advice and distribution channel. Consumer understanding of the marketplace through polarisation is an important public good, which could be damaged by substantive change.”

Sofa chairman Peter Williams says: “It is delightful to find the regulator supporting the current position which has served the customer very well. The Government should heed what they are saying that it is important to continue supporting IFAs.”

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “The case against change to the current polarisation regime is building.”

An FSA spokeswoman says: “The PIA board are quite entitled to have their view. They are one view along with many others and we will take it into account when we make our recommendation to the Treasury.”l Comment, p33

Recommended

Solving the endowment conundrum

The endowment problem is rather like that fiendish 1980s puzzle, Rubik&#39s cube. It is solvable but the answer seems to depend on the policyholder making a series of moves in the right order. I suspect they would rather have the problem unravelled for them.The poor old punter is in the middle of a vicious circle. […]

Have your cake and eat it

Split-capital investment trusts are attracting attention again. In the recent weeks, Legg-Mason Investors, Aberdeen and BFS have produced new split caps, with other companies expected to join them before the end of the year.Among these is Investec Asset Management – curr- ently designing a new European split cap to make further use of the talents […]

Consumers questioned to set standards for Saltr

The ABI is conducting a major customer satisfaction survey in a bid to set benchmarks for its Savings and Long Term Risk initiative.The Saltr initiative is a quality mark scheme aimed at raising standards in the financial services industry and improving the public&#39s provision for their financial welfare.The results of the survey will be used […]

IFA support services firm offers chance to become partner

A new support services company providing the full range of assistance to IFA firms launched this week. IN Partnership is different from traditional networks in that it offers IFAs the opportunity to invest in the company who then stand to gain if the venture succeeds. Through subsidiary companies it will provide compliance and training services, […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment