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Saltr predicts Autif and FSA backing in two years

The ABI&#39s Raising Standards project expects to have the official support of both Autif and the FSA within the next two years.

Lawrence Churchill, chairman of the Industry Standards Group, the organisation which sets the Saltr standards manual, told Money Mark-eting he expects Autif will join the Raising Standards initiative. Saltr also forecasts the inclusion of the quality mark in FSA comparative tables.

At the official launch of Raising Standards in October last year, FSA chairman How-ard Davies gave the initiative a cautious welcome.

He said the regulator would be watching closely to see whether the promises built into the scheme were delivered in practice and helped rebuild the trust between the industry and consumers.

Earlier this year, some life offices submitting applications for early accreditation, including CIS, Norwich Union and Scottish Equitable, registered their dissatisfaction when it emerged that the Saltr mark will be omitted from the first FSA comparative tables this autumn.

But with Raising Standards also expecting 50 per cent of the market to be accredited by the end of next year, it confidently anticipates that the quality mark will be featured alongside Catmarks in the league tables.

Raising Standards project director Stuart Tragheim says: “I am hopeful the FSA will include the quality mark in the reasonably near future.”

But on Autif&#39s support, a spokeswoman says: “While we would never say never, it is up to individual members whether they would like to join Raising Standards or not. The unit trust industry is already highly regulated and authorised and offers transparency. On charges, we fully support total expense ratios but regulations demand that we use reduction in yields.”

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