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Policyholders take a step forward

Life office policyholders have taken a step closer to gain-ing direct

representation on the boards of insurancecompanies.

The Department of Trade and Industry is examining the issue as part of a

wider review of corporate governance.

The move was prompted by former Allied Dunbar deputy chairman Lord Joel

Joffe. He tabled an amendment to the FSA legislation last week which would

have made member representation legally binding.

After a brief debate in the House of Lords, Joffe withdrew his amendment

on the understanding that the Government would actively consider the

matter.

According to a Depart-ment of Trade and Industry spokesman, the companylaw

review will be a “fundamental look at all aspects of company law, out of

which itis likely that recommendations will be made.”

The independent steering group conducting the review is expected to report

in spring 2001. The Government will then decide on possible legislative

changes.

Ideally, Joffe wants 50 per cent of the seats on boards directly elected

by policyholders but he has said that he would accept one-third.

Idealing.com is claiming to be the UK&#39s cheapest online sharedealing

service, charging a flat rate of £10 a trade, regardless of size.

The independent broker claims an average internet investor trading 12

times a year, investing £5,000 each time, could save up to £375 by

switching from Charles Schwab.

Managing director Foster Bowman (pictured above) says most charging

structures are designed to confuse.

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