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Sesame advisers given six months to change

Sesame Bankhall Group has told network members they have six months to move to its restricted offering, become directly authorised under its Bankhall brand or leave the network altogether.

Speaking at the firm’s annual conference in London this week, managing director Stephen Gazard told delegates: “We have concluded that supporting non-mainstream investment areas, such as agricultural property investments, traded life policies and experienced investor schemes, is unsustainable for us. It carries too much risk and we firmly believe others will conclude the same in time.”

Sesame says it has analysed past business and found that only 32 cases out of 225,000 over the past 12 months would not have been possible under the new restricted propositions.

Gazard adds: “We need to be realistic. Higher risk products increase the likelihood of recompense, so why would we expose ourselves, you and the consumer to these areas?”

He confirmed Sesame “would not be an appropriate home” for advisers that wish to offer “non-mainstream investments”.

The new restricted offering will be known as its ‘Universal’ proposition and will sit alongside Bankhall’s DA advisers and its current restricted proposition. It means there will no longer be any Sesame-authorised advisers offering independent advice.

The firm says advisers will have six months from today to decide to remain in Sesame, move to Bankhall or leave SBG.

Mortgage and protection advisers will not be affected.

Derbyshire Booth managing director Greg Heath says: “It is disappointing Sesame appears to have chucked the towel in so soon after RDR. It has gone for the easy option rather than try to educate clients.” 

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