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Polarisation – politics and pressure points

IFAs should brace themselves. By the time you receive this issue of Money Marketing, some industry sources believe the Government will have announced its decision on polarisation.

To the best of our knowledge, the FSA has passed its recommendation to the Treasury.

It has left the publication to the Government but, by handing responsibility to spin-doctors, it simply confirms many of our fears about the lack of openness raised in our Poles Apart campaign.

The regulator doesn&#39t appear to understand that its own credibility is at stake. It is closer to the ground than Whitehall and should be able to take the lead on polarisation without political interference.

But it is our contention the FSA has come under intense political pressure, most worryingly from civil servants,to toe the line. It may, under this pressure, have decided in favour of multi-ties based on the ridiculous report produced by the now defunct London Economics.

This would be despite warnings about consumer confusion and opposition from the Consumers&#39 Association and the FSA&#39s own consumer panel, the possible damage to IFAs and the fears of a dash for distri bution disrupting stakeholder&#39s launch.

We hope we are wrong and, if so, apologise to the FSA for suggesting it is merely a pawn of politicians. There may indeed be a case for some limited adjustments.

But if it backs multi-ties, it will have broken the most important of its four statutory objectives, to protect consumers.


Schroder – UK Dynamic Growth Fund

Friday, 10th November 2000.Type: Unit trust.Aim: Growth by investing in a portfolio of UK companies with good growth potential.Minimum investment: £1,000.Investment split: 100 per cent UK equities.Isa link: Yes.Pep transfers: Yes.Charges: Initial 5.25 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.Special offer: Initial charge reduced from 5.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent.Offer period: Until January 31, […]

Legal & General launch new smooth move

LEGAL and General have launched a new version of their SmoothMove service, which helps mortgage policy customers who encounter problems whilst moving house.The improved service offers solutions to moving day problems such as organizing a replacement removal van and arranging the emergency purchase of items lost or damaged in transit.SmoothMove which is available free to […]

Professional tactics

Tony Solomon Marketing communications director,Zurich Financial ServicesIFAs should team up with solicitors and accountants. Financial services are a natural extension to the professional practitioner&#39s role and IFAs have the expertise and credentials to respond to a client&#39s needs for independent financial advice.But while we all recognise the wisdom, benefits and profitability pros pects, linking up […]

Jam tomorrow if life companies bottle reserves

Revised rules on how companies should calculate the value of their assets and liabilities (or statutory reserves) were set down in May by the FSA&#39s ins urance directorate.These revised rules are intended to force life companies to increase their statutory reserves. This will affect all life companies that write unitised with-profits contracts such as endowments […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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