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Smooth move would be rough

The regulator may be growing overly fond of revolutionary change

cheered on by the Treasury.

It may be planning to turn the way that insurers do business upside

down by applying the Sandler with-profits model to conventional


Discussion paper 20 could see various restrictions applied to

with-profits – particularly on investment – and, as a result, all

insurers would move to a smooth managed model. And what of the orphan


This is only a discussion paper – more a statement of intent than a

detailed strategy – but many insurers probably feel they could do

without it as the bear market tests the with-profits concept to its


IFAs should be alert to what it means for their with-profits clients

– it could mean a windfall – although surely much reduced.It could

close down traditional funds and,if botched, could weaken some of the

life offices which are weathering the storm – advisers with multi-tie

ambitions take note.

Money Marketing believes aspects of traditional with-profits are in

need of reform but that there are more pressing issues facing

insurers&#39 managements without such a distraction. We suggest that

this particular initiative goes on the backburner for a while.

Cover crisis

If you wanted to select a small, well-run IFA to represent the best

of the sector,you could do worse than Nick Bamford&#39s Informed Choice.

Yet, the Sofa chairman is unable to get PI cover for his business

despite being one of the most respected pension IFAs in the UK. Small

IFAs are facing a PI crisis. The FSA should accept this.


Intelligent Finance goes on the offset offensive

Intelligent Finance has sparked a mortgage row by claiming that rivaloffset mortgage products are “poor imitations” of its own.IF&#39s new chief executive Grenville Turner, who replaced founder JimSpowart in January, claims the company&#39s product is superior to otheroffsets because it is the only one which lets borrowers combine theirmortgage, personal loan, credit card, current account […]


You might imagine that as the Perfect Storm of Q1 2003 continues to rip through the investment industry with devastating force, few players would put on their waterproofs and go out into the sodden landscape with Isa consumer campaigns.You would be right up to a point. Quite a few players are conspicuous by their absence. […]

Mortgage protection

Over 90 per cent of borrowers questioned in Legal & General&#39smost recent &#39Moving Intentions&#39 survey said that they had arrangedlife assurance cover purely to protect their mortgage.So it could be claimed that consumers are taking a responsibleattitude towards life assurance protection when arranging loans tobuy a home.However, while this is welcome and very good news, […]

NU shuts online supermart after a year

Norwich Union is closing its online fund supermarket and wealthmanagement service a year after their launch because of poor uptake.The company says just 250 customers signed up to its Norwich UnionIsa through the supermarket, which gave investors access to 70internal and external funds.The supermarket and online wealth management service were launched ata cost of £230m.NU […]

Embrace simplicity!

By Fiona Holmes, proposition communications manager When I first took out critical illness cover, I was overwhelmed. It wasn’t just the form filling, it was finding out about the sheer number of illnesses I was covered for. Did it give me peace of mind that I was covered for neuromyelitis optica or systematic lupus erythematosus? […]


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