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Relax polarisation to weed out multi-tied agents, says Pima chief

Polarisation must be relaxed to weed out IFAs who are really acting as multi-tied agents, says the new director general of the Pep & Isa Managers&#39 Association.

In his first week as head of the trade body, Tony Vine-Lott has not shied away from controversy by slamming IFAs for the lack of transparency about their status.

He claims many IFAs operate special arrangements with providers, which means they are not truly independent.

Vine-Lott previously served as Pima&#39s treasurer for four years on a part-time basis while working as a financial services consultant for accountants RSM Robson Rhodes. He wants to move Pima towards a more public role on policy matters, which is away from its traditional technical role.

Vine-Lott believes the key questions Ron Sandler has to address in his review of the retail financial services industry is advice – how it is provided, how independent is it and how it is paid for.

However, Vine-Lott says he does not want to abandon the origins of Pima. He says he will lobby the Treasury to make changes to Isas, allowing savers to switch between cash and equity Isas.

Vine-Lott says: “Polarisation has been extremely restrictive. The rules need to be relaxed. We need more disclosure of multi-tied agents. A large number of IFAs do tend to have multi-tied arrangements with providers.”

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