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Private bank to sell direct to adviser clients

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Private bank Cater Allen is changing its terms of business to allow it to sell directly to current and future advised clients.

In a note sent to advisers and seen by Money Marketing, the bank, which is part of Santander, says it is removing the “no cross-sell guarantee”.

This means in the future the bank “may offer other Cater Allen or Santander Group products and services directly to customers where appropriate”.

The bank will also be removing trail commission on bank and notice accounts on new and existing business from 1 December.

Commission will accrue on daily balances until 30 November and will be paid in January 2016.

Cater Allen has already stopped accepting instructions to rebate commission to clients.

A Cater Allen spokeswoman confirmed the changes to commission policy and the plans to sell direct.

She says: “Cater Allen has recently undertaken a review of its commission policy together with its intermediary terms and conditions. Following this review, it has taken the decision to remove all commission paid to intermediaries for both new and existing client introductions.

“This will improve transparency for clients, is in line with market conditions and takes into consideration a changing regulatory environment.

“These changes started in May and are expected to be largely completed by January 2016. The bank is writing to intermediaries affected by these changes to provide more details and information on what this will mean for them.”

Rowley Turton director Scott Gallacher says: “This is the first time I’ve seen a provider be so explicit about approaching clients directly. It’s always been the understanding in UK financial services that providers don’t cut advisers out. The only exception is mortgages.

“If they sell to current and previous clients in addition to new ones that means the no-cross sell guarantee was worthless.

“If Cater Allen can get away with this, what’s to stop other providers? It’s a bad step for the industry to take; this sets a precedent.”

Providers have come under fire in the past for contacting advisers’ clients directly. This year, Aegon was criticised by advisers who said a campaign to update client details was an “excuse” to make contact.

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Due to the above I’m in the process of ending my relationship with CA. I have written to all my CA clients to forewarn them of the future “cross selling risk” and that perhaps in view of that and the poor interest rates (which I assume won’t be increased by 0.25% once the 0.25% commission ends) they should take this time to find an alternative home for their business.

  2. See above and follow the lead. Who the chuff do these people think they are?

  3. that puts an end to that one

  4. Weasels, I bet they will need us before we ever need them. Monumental mistake by ill informed management. Do they not realise who holds the client purse strings post RDR, certainly not the banks. Goodbye £4m, goodbye

  5. From memory I believe they have done this before, back around 2005 to 2007, when I had used them a few times. I also think that Capital One pulled something similar. I stand to be corrected though, if anyone knows differently.

  6. It isn’t that long since CA were promoting their adviser-focused banking service, encouraging advisers to offer private banking-style services to their clients. Perhaps this was all a ploy to get more advisers to furnish CA with their clients’ details.

  7. Spot on Scott – and taking that one step further, if that was an adviser offering a client a ‘guarnatee’ and turn round later and said, nah – I’ve changed my mind – there would be uproar.

    If it’s only applicable to new introductions then so be it but if they apply this to existing cases then there is a significant moral issue here!

  8. ” Is in line with market conditions and takes into consideration a changing regulatory environment” means ” We can do what we like because TCF and RDR do not apply to us, the principle of first rat to the cheese takes precedence “

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