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Polarisation campaign to open up the debate

Money Marketing this week launches its Poles Apart campaign in a bid to inject some sense into the polarisation debate.

The aim is to push the debate out of the smoke-filled rooms of the Treasury and the FSA and into the public domain. Obviously, any change to the regime should wait until a proper assessment of the current set-up is made and the cost and risks of changing it are established.

This has not been done. Neither the recent London Economics report nor the OFT&#39s proposal to depolarise investment advice came close.

On the right, we publish 10 questions we believe the Treasury and the FSA must answer before making any change. But other organisations must also contribute to this openness.

The campaign is ask-ing the ABI to explain why its submission to the FSA on polarisation includes acceptance of gap-filling, often referred to as white labelling. The campaign is not about resisting all change but any reform must be based on facts, not prejudices, and should be debated properly.

As yet, no one has made anything resembling a convincing case for change or established why the current regime is not working.

We will keep asking the 10 questions until IFAs and their clients get some answers.

l Comment, p29


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