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Shell shock of liability move

There is a great deal of discontent among IFAs about Berkeley Berry Birch&#39s move to leave liabilities with the shell of Berry Birch & Noble FS.

It also sees a liability-free IFA emerge from the ashes.

The move echoes one made by Towry Law a few years back but at this stage does not seem to involve any deal with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which slightly sugared the pill for other advisers.

At this time, BBB is not defending itself against what must be the inevitable slings and arrows aimed at it from other advisers because it is carrying out due diligence on the proposed merger with Inter-Alliance.

It is also not the first business to go for this option.

But many IFAs across the country will be rightly concerned that the result will be yet another hike in payments to the scheme. They will see themselves and their clients having to foot the bill for the misdeeds of others.

The process has taken on a whole new transparency because BBB is listed and needs to keep its investors informed of every new development.

Perhaps, if it were not listed, the marketplace as a whole would not know.

Clearly, this is a company that is working very hard to obtain some much needed stability. It will be stronger now, but at what price?

The FSA is facing demands to explain why it did not object to a transfer of BBN advisers to a new business. Surely this negates a whole swathe of the regulatory enforcement process?

The directors, when they come out of their merger purdah, will also face some difficult questions. We await their explanation with interest.


Switch now, say advisers

IFAs say the Penrose report has reinforced their view that policyholders should ditch any realistic hope of winning compensation and switch to another company with healthier investment prospects. Advisory firms, including Hargreaves Lansdown and A&B, say the report has done little to encourage policyholders that staying with Equitable would boost their chances of redress. Since […]

Skandia adds Templeton funds

Skandia has chosen two Franklin Templeton Investments funds to link to its UK life and pension range.The Templeton growth and Templeton US equity fund will appear on Skandia&#39s platform from March 1.Skandia fund range marketing manager Richard Vincent says: “The addition of these two funds further back up our commitment to ensure that our fund […]

Burns Anderson set to buy networks

Burns Anderson is in acquisition talks with networks and IT offerings after making a profit in 2003 and taking itself off the market in December. BA has long been viewed as a potential target for acquisition, with Tenet launching a bid last year which fell through in the final stages. Group 300 and Berkeley Berry […]

Base rate rises fail to stem house prices

Increases in mortgage rates have failed to stop house price rises which went up by 1.6 per cent in February, with an annual house price inflation figure of 17.8 per cent, according to Halifax research. The two Bank of England base rate rises since last November have had a modest affect on housing affordability, raising […]

Sub-Saharan Africa Near-Term Outlook

By Paul Caruana-Galizia, Neptune Economist

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance continues. After growing at an average rate of five per cent over the past decade, the IMF projects an acceleration to 5.5 per cent growth among Sub-Saharan economies in the next two years, as developed economies emerge from the crisis. We expect this growth to be sustainable for three broad reasons.


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