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Sesame’s Ivan Martin slams “Frankenstein” sales advice category

Sesame executive chairman Ivan Martin has attacked the “Frankenstein” sales advice category in the FSA’s retail distribution review feedback.

Speaking at a Sesame symposium event in London this morning Martin said the category will create confusion and added that he is not convinced the RDR proposals as a whole will achieve the goal of improving consumer access to advice or rebuilding confidence in the financial services industry.

Martin said that introducing an Independent Professional Standards Board would lead to double regulation and double costs for the industry to bear.

He also called on the FSA to back research by the Centre for Financial Inclusion into whether the regulations imposed on the advice process actually serves as a barrier to consumers accessing financial advice, adding that he believes it does stand in the way.

Martin criticised the “unlimited and perpetual liability” that is placed on advisers through the lack of a 15 year long stop, which he believes hinders expansion and investment in the IFA sector.

He said :”The only way and adviser can be free of liability is to die – and this is quite simply unfair – and probably a bit drastic!”

Martin said he would oppose the creation of the sales advice category with all his strength.

He said: “I am tempted to conclude that this Frankenstein creation is nothing other than a sop to bankers who, having killed the goose that laid the golden egg, are desperate to ensure that they can continue to peddle expensive investment products wearing a mask of respectability that comes from calling themselves advisers.”

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