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Severn says FSA is a slow-moving glacier

Progress in the relationship between IFAs and the FSA has been a case of one step forward and two steps back, Aifa director general David Severn told Money Marketing roadshow delegates last week.

Severn said recent successes include persuading the FSA to offer a 50 per cent discount to IFAs if they appear in more than one fee block and an agreement from the regulator to review fundamentally the way that the compensation scheme is funded.

But the former FSA business head said he is still finding it difficult to work with the regulator, comparing it with a glacier – slow-moving and hard to redirect.

In a wide-ranging speech, Seven said he saw dangers in the FSA’s treating customers fairly initiative because he said it could effectively create rules without going through a pro-per cost benefit analysis.

He also said Aifa would continue to work with the Treasury, Customs and Excise, the Inland Revenue and the DWP, scrutinising plans to ensure that new consultation pro- cesses are really necessary.

Severn said his decision to refer the menu to the Office of Fair Trading showed he would use “sharp elbows” as well as persuasion but warned the audience that a judicial review and legal challenge would be a difficult road to take.

Looking ahead, Severn said Europe was both a big opportunity and threat to IFAs, with around 75 per cent of new regulation coming from Brussels in five years time.

Severn pointed out there will be a window of oppor- tunity to review the cost of professional indemnity insurance cover in the upcoming European finance directive, with Aifa pushing hard to get a review.


Winterthur Life roadshow predicts IFA advantage

Winterthur Life is hosting a national roadshow to educate IFAs on how to convert industry changes into competitive advantage, throughout May and June.A Combined Force working as one, will cover new opportunities arising from depolarisation and A-Day, initiatives for capturing a greater share of the Sipp market, research from Fidelity Investments on retirement and portfolio […]

Profits triple for Positive Solutions

Positive Solutions has seen a 98 per cent increase in turnover, bringing business in the first quarter of the year to £15m from £7.5m in the same period last year. First-quarter profits rocketed by 305 per cent to £1.5m from £490,000. The firm’s annual report, published this week, also shows an increase in the number […]

Please release me

I am looking to release equity from my property as I do not have enough income or savings to maintain the lifestyle I want. Can you please explain my options? There are few options for those who have retired to increase income from their pensions or investments. However, many retired people who manage on a […]

Cofunds hits 4bn mark

Cofunds has topped 4bn in funds under management just over four years after the fund supermarket’s launch.The platform attracted 1.7bn in 2004, aided by increasing inflows and positive market movements.Cofunds launched back in January 2001 and at its current rate of growth expects to break even in late 2006/ early 2007.The fund supermarket expects its […]

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Preparing for the changes to the pensions market

As more and more providers start to reveal their stance on the charge cap and removal of commission and active member discount pricing, we thought it would be worthwhile to look at what these are, and the steps businesses should be taking to prepare for this.


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