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Providers must face responsibilities

The Personal Finance Society may have already found its big regulatory issue to lobby on.

The newly merged professional body is advocating a system where product providers have to be transparent in their IFA marketing. If they are found lacking, they should shoulder some of the burden of responsibility for misselling complaints.

You can almost hear the chorus of “about time too” from advisers across the country.

The move comes in the wake of the failure of many precipice bonds and split-capital investment trusts.

Both of these scandals include examples of marketing material provided to IFAs which beggared belief when it became clear what was really going on within the products.

That is not to say that, in many cases, advisers should not shoulder some of the responsibility.

There is, of course, an onus on advisers to understand how the products work but only within reasonable limits.

Some of the products were sold to people with the wrong risk profile so the advice was wrong. But what does an IFA do when providers have attributed the wrong risk to the products either directly or by implication?In all of these instances it shows that the regulatory framework is not correct – not all the blame should fall on the adviser and even if it means legislation this should be a general industry aim.

Such a move would help with professional indemnity insurance and the compensation scheme.

Some product providers were issuing products that did almost the exact opposite of what they said on the tin. They are partly to blame for the consequent meltdown of some people’s savings and should pay their share.


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