Sesame pulls roadshows in wake of inducements crackdown

Sesame has cancelled up to 10 provider-sponsored roadshows following the FCA’s crackdown on inducements, Money Marketing understands.

In its final guidance on inducements, published earlier this month, the FCA sets out hospitality that is acceptable for advisers to receive.  Firms have three months to make changes based on its guidance.

As a result, Sesame has decided to cancel its protection-focused roadshows, which were due to run throughout February and March across the country. The first roadshow was due to take place at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield on 18 February. 

Money Marketing understands providers were informed earlier last week, with the inducements paper given as the reason for the cancellation.

Sesame declined to comment.

The original review of inducements, published in September, found payments by providers to advice firms was related to securing product sales and made clear these should be banned. 

The final guidance says firms must focus on non-monetary and potential future benefits as well as purely financial rewards.

The FCA says firms need a clearly defined policy with an approved person signing off on all hospitality, most likely a senior person in the company.

The regulator has also issued warnings about providers paying for “significant services” for advisers in a bid to influence product selection. This could include paying most of the costs for a seminar or event as well as funding support services such as IT.

It also warns over increased risk of conflicts from exclusive or long-term distribution deals.

Versus Wealth co-director Paul Lothian says: “Any service provider needs to build a relationship with its target market. But there is a fine line between a genuine seminar or conference and simply a jolly. I can see why there is a concern.”

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