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Skandia plea for freeze on polarisation change

Skandia is calling for the FSA and the Treasury to freeze their polarisation plans until after the launch of stakeholder and the general election.

The life office says with the election expected this spring and the rush to introduce changes before stakeholder begins in April, there is not enough time to ensure changes to the polarisation regime are properly considered.

Aifa says it remains unconvinced that diluting polarisation would benefit consumers and believes allowing tied agents to sell other providers&#39 products would damage market confidence.

It is concerned about gaps in the FSA&#39s proposals, in particular, the absence of measures to ensure direct providers do not confuse the simp- licity of stakeholder or Catmarked Isas with suitability.

The LIA wants the status quo maintained and is calling for clear status disclosure in the event of change.

Skandia group marketing director Bill West says: “The polarisation debate should be frozen until the political scene is clearer. This is more complicated than the regulator seems to think.

“Things are being rushed through because the changes being made to personal pensions in April and because of the coming election.”

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