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Pru chief challenges HL stance

Prudential UK chief executive Mark Wood has castigated IFA Hargreaves Lansdown, describing its decision not to offer with-profits bonds as a “dereliction of duty”.

Wood made the charge in the Money Marketing with-profits debate recently in response to criticism of with-profits and the Pru&#39s own offering.

Earlier in the debate, Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail had said that he feels the company&#39s decision to stop recommending with-profits policies had been vindicated by the events of the last few years.

McPhail also questioned what Pru investors would say if they knew that Pru&#39s with-profits fund had paid out around 6.8 per cent on a return of 16.5 per cent last year.

He said: I think that if you went to those consumers and asked if they were willing to pay a 10 per cent premium for the security of the fund, they would not be so enthusiastic about it.”

But Wood attacked McPhail&#39s argument as “spurious”, saying it was a reflection of smoothing. He had already outlined figures showing that the Pru bond had beaten managed funds over five years.

Wood said: “It is standing back from a vital role on behalf of the client to say that we will exclude you from an entire product category.

“That is a dereliction of duty as far as an adviser is concerned. For the vast majority of middle-market savers – those are the people who come to Hargreaves Lansdown for advice – when we compare the five-year returns for Pru bond, the violent oscillation in our fund has been smoothed out.”


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Pension fund for Shariah laws

HSBC has launched a pension fund designed to meet the requirements of Shariah law that does not hold shares in companies primarily involved in alcohol production or distribution, gambling, pornography, pork and tobacco products. The fund, which HSBC says is aimed at the UK&#39s 2m Muslims, is only available for occupational schemes.


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