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Public puzzled over multi-ties

Consumers are “puzzled and cynical” about the prospect of multi-ties if

polarisation is scrapped.

A qualitative survey from H2B Thinking Research age-ncy questioned people

around the UK on their attitude to the relaxation of the regime, including

direct salesforces selling additional products and IFAs becoming multi-tied.

It revealed no one thought they would get a better deal from direct

salesforces selling other companies&#39 products and an IFA becoming

multi-tied would have no benefits for the consumer.

Consumers believe a direct salesperson selling other companies&#39 products

would be tied to one firm more than others. They fear the commission of the

main company would dominate, with the salesperson only selecting other

brands to make the host product look better.

One respondent said: “What is the point of having someone who can only

sell a small number of products compared to an independent?”

But people did look positively on the idea of banks offering more choice

as they have confidence in a big brand.

Respondents thought an IFA becoming multi-tied would create “just an

inferior IFA”, saying this would reduce the benefit for consumers as the

adviser would have access to less of the market.

H2B partner Sue Hayward says: “We are confident that the results give an

accurate picture of reactions to current possible proposals.”

IFA Baronworth Invest-ment Services director Colin Jackson says:

“Consumers would be befuddled by multi-ties as some still have problems

understanding the differences between IFAs and tied agents although the

labels should make it clear.”

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