View more on these topics

Stop rants and start reasoning

At the LIA Conference last May, I reported my disappointment at the lack of response to CP121 – less than 10 per cent of the firms affected.

Now 10 months on and I must confess to being consultation paper-weary and not having the time to respond from my own firm&#39s perspective. So why is this and how can I be so hypocritical?

First, I would say that my lack of response is not one of preference but of necessity. If I spent the time needed to respond in an intelligent, well thought out and meaningful way, my business might not survive. That is the stark reality that faces many of us in the current climate. So if we cannot spend the time ourselves who do we turn to? We must rely on our professional (the LIA, Sofa, IFP) and trade associations (Aifa) to respond on our behalf and, where possible, make joint submissions in the areas where commonality exists. However, we still need to read the briefings they send out to us and respond to them with our views.

I am going to be contentious. There is an area where we let ourselves down badly. I have seen a myriad of rants and raves directed at individuals and organisations. With few exceptions these are ill thought out, irrational and emotionally charged. These responses win us no friends and perpetuate the illusion that many of us are ignorant dinosaurs only interested in ourselves.

As one example, take the response to the Consumers&#39 Association campaign against misselling of endowments (and, for the record, I don&#39t like the Standard letter either).

How many advisers or companies have taken the trouble to write in and explain the exact history behind some policies to promulgate an accurate understanding? Hardly any. But how many vitriolic letters have they received from so called professionally qualified advisers? Quite a few, by all accounts – all achieving the same result, casting doubt on our aim to become recognised as a profession.

So please do respond when you can to what is going on but do so with a reasoned, logical and professional approach.

Another huge challenge we advisers have is life off-ice administration. There have been many comments on this of late.

Take the endowment issue as an example. My firm, like many others, has received the standard Consumers&#39 Association letters of complaint. So far, I am relieved to say that none of these relates to policies that my firm has arranged but all are for policies where we are the current servicing agent.

Life office systems are often so poor that they cannot identify the original adviser. As a result, we have to respond to all these, which costs time, money and resources.

Companies decide to discontinue certain products or funds because of their unprofitability but then we have to deal with all the enquiries and advise clients what to do outside their normal reviews. This can be very time-consuming and it is difficult to invoice clients for a situation that is not of their making.

But there are still some huge opportunities out there for all of us. Just look at the statistics:

Critical-illness cover

One in three will develop some form of cancer.

Pensions

The average currently paid entitlement from the state is only £73 per week.

Thousands of policyholders are still in high-charge contracts.

Mortgages

Two million homeowners have not reviewed their loans.

Investments

Markets are so low that there must be significant growth potential, many products offer downside protection.

Permanent health insurance There is eight times more likelihood of being ill and unable to work for six months or more than there is of dying during your working life.

Life cover

Costs have tumbled in the last few years making re-broking attractive.

There are so many opportunities emanating from full financial planning reviews for new clients that we would be hard pressed to meet someone that we could not help.

Gavin Tisshaw is LIA president and chairman of Executive Advisory Services

Recommended

Reinventing the deal

MM: Why launch a new protection company now?DR: Most of the motivation comes from wanting to imp-rove the service to IFAs. Doing the right things in terms of the products and certainly the service proposition. There is a good opportunity to almost reinvent what protection insurance is all about. MM: Are the service levels of […]

Datanite – Datanite

Monday, 31 March 2003 Aim: Growth by investing in the development and manufacture of silicon carbide technology used in the power and telecommunications industries Minimum investment: Lump sum £2,000 Opening/closing dates: March 28, 2003/April 5, 2003 Charges: Implicit Commission: Initial 2.5% Contact: www.datanite.co.uk

ScotEq ends guarantees on stand-alone cover

Scottish Equitable Protect has stopped offering guaranteed premiums on stand-alone term and critical-illness policies.The move follows the introduction of reviewable rates across its range of policies in January.Guarantees will still be available on combined term and critical-illness policies but they will face an average increase of 20 per cent, with further gradual increases predicted.Unlike other […]

Talkback

“No. It is pretty barren out there but there are still some coming through.”Peter Lawrenson, Peter Lawrenson & Co“Yes. I have not sold a single Isa this season.”Roger MacMillan, Roger MacMillan Independent Financial Services“Yes. I blame the media for it.”Nicholas Miles, Med-Ex Financial Advisory Services“Yes. But I do not think that people have any confidence […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com