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Pro bono plan would raise image of advisers

Proposals for IFAs to give free advice in Citizens&#39 Advice Bureaux and a new lower level of generic adviser are set out in the FSA&#39s polarisation paper.

The regulator refers to plans to set up a pilot scheme for IFAs to offer pro bono generic advice. Aifa and the CAB have had extensive talks but the scheme has been held back by difficulty in finding an industry figure to head it.

The regulator also outlines plans for a lower level of generic adviser offering a free financial healthcheck with a simplified fact-find and key features document. The FSA counters the criticism that this is offering second-class advice for the poor by saying they get a “no-class” service at present. The idea for a healthcheck was first suggested by the FSA consumer panel and taken up by the Treasury.

NACAB head of social policy Teresa Perchard says: “A model that has been successful with solicitors offering pro bono advice could reach across to financial advisers. It would not be very difficult to set up. We are proposing the pilot scheme to see what the constraints will be.”

Aifa director of policy Fay Goddard says: “IFAs offering free generic advice would be a community service which would raise IFAs&#39 image and make it comparable with solicitors. Generic advisers within IFAs would be a good way of bringing in new advisers who could refer on to more qualified IFAs if required.”


Editorial: Put yourself and consumers first

The FSA&#39s spin-doctored announcement on the axing of polarisation has as its heading: “Consumers put first in proposed reform of financial advice”.This is simply not true. A more accurate heading would be “Consumers put last as overwhelming demand for IFAs ignored”.The lunatics have taken over the asylum but most IFAs realised that long ago.The changes […]

Lincoln looks to small and mid caps

Lincoln Unit Trust Managers has established the UK equity growth trust, a unit trust which invests in a portfolio of between 50 and 100 small and mid cap stocks in the UK.The trust is also available within an Isa wrapper and is managed for Lincoln by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Stocks will be selected by […]

Isis zero worships

FRIENDS IVORY & SIME ISIS PROGRESSIVE GROWTH TRUST Type: Oeic. Aim: Growth by investing in zero-dividend preference shares. Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,000, monthly £50. Investment split: 100 per cent in zero-dividend preference shares. Yield: 7.5 per cent. Isa link: Yes. Pep transfers: Yes. Charges: Initial 4.75 per cent, annual 1 per cent. Commission: Initial […]

Britannic Group chief exec resigns

Britannic Group chief executive Danny O&#39Neil has resigned with effect from today, a position he has held since May last year. He says he has decided to leave for personal reasons, but will remain a consultant to the group and will become a non-executive deputy chairman of Britannic Asset Management. Group chairman Harold Cottam will […]

Budget summary – March 2016

This week’s Budget looked as if it would be a difficult one for the Chancellor, with disappointing economic numbers and the need to avoid ruffling feathers ahead of June’s in/out referendum. Nevertheless, Mr Osborne did spring a few surprises, including some tax reductions. So how does this budget affect you? If you are – or […]


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