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Polarisation pendulum is still swinging

Sir Howard Davies has shed more dark on the matter of polarisation. He says the regime will change, with proposals in the New Year, but didn&#39t we know that already?

Has the pendulum swung back towards multi-ties or is it more limited gap filling?

The head of the review, David Severn, appeared a few weeks ago to back gap-filling because of the damage multi-ties would do to the IFA market. Now Sir Howard has made some harsh comments about the regime and remarked that markets such as Australia and Canada do not have polarisation. The industry could be forgiven for thinking the policy people and the FSA board are split on polarisation.

If it is multi-ties, Money Marketing remains opposed to such a wholesale change. It will require a complete rewrite of the rulebook, according to the FSA itself, and pile yet more uncertainty upon the industry. The dash for distribution has started and will surely get more feverish. Can Davies guarantee that the amount of cash involved will not see intermediaries forced into the hard sell?

At the very least, Davies should, if offered another contract, stick around to manage the turmoil.

On access to advice, we suggest it is not polarisation but price capping, tax and benefit disincentives to saving and the cost of regulation which are at the heart of that particular matter.

As for other countries, isn&#39t what the British public wants more important?

If Davies does leave in July, surely his last decision should not be to ignore British consumers point-blank by damaging independent advice?


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