View more on these topics

Summertime – and the consulting is far from easy

It is summer and there is a definite temptation to allow a touch of frivolity to creep into this column.

For example, I have invented a new pastime called the Management Consultants Game in which you try to string as many consecutive nouns together in a manner which can still make sense (as defined by a management consultant).

“Human resource strategy development policy group action plan” is the sort of thing that I have in mind, although I rather hopeI made that one up.

But stern duty calls. Summer is not about garden parties and messing about on the river…it is about consultation documents.

From my time as a televisionregulator, I know there is nothing more that regulatory bodies like doing than issuing consultationdocuments at a time which allows them to go off down the beach but leaves the likes of me perspiring overa hot computer.

We have had the welcome news that N2 – the date on which powers finally get moved to the FSA in their entirety – will not now happen for another 12 months. While elephants would be hard put to match the gestation period of the new authority, I suspect we are past the point where an extra six months here or there matters.

What undoubtedly does matter is that the continuing flow of documents emerging from the authority for consultation are sufficiently spaced and give sufficiently long periods of response that those whose livelihoods will be affected by them can prop-erly analyse the proposals.

Half-baked consultation is no good at all.Give it its due, the FSA does take consultation seriously. This may be scant consolation as I embark on ano-ther summary of key points from another CP but it is better thanthe alternative.

One of the most significant exercises on which the FSA will embark in the autumn is that of categorising all businesses in an appropriate risk category. This is the process set out in A New Regulator for a New Millennium. For many IFAs, this could mean they are deemed low risk.

Certainly, it would be hard to argue that a firm which does not hold clients&#39 money and where there is tight control by an owner or proprietor should be highly rated for risk unless it is dealing in some very esoteric products.

The regulatory response to apparent risk need not be exclusively directed at interfering with the way in which a firm operates. There may be better ways of addressing concerns through consumer information, consumer warnings or some other mechanism like that.

I hope the outcome of all this assessment will be regulation which does not try to second-guess the businessman.

It will require a conscious culture shift by the regulator to adopt a different mindset.

But I am pleased to say that some of the noises coming from Aifa members suggest the process has begun and that, some monitoring visits at least are “new FSA”.

Of course, this process is not yet uniform or complete. We will continue to pass on accounts of where the process goes wrong. But there are some positive signs to takeinto the summer break.


B&B is set to rethink stakeholder strategy

Leading national IFA Bradford & Bingley believes it may have to change the way it operates to gain a strong foot-hold in the stakeholder pension market.The company is looking to manage its stakeholder business through more cost-effective channels.Such a move could see B&B turn its back on traditional individual face-to-face advice on stakeholder as margins […]

Kensington picks its new chief exec

Sub-prime lender Kensington has appointed a new chief executive and non-executive chairman as founder Marty Finegold steps down from both positions to concentrate on IF Online.John Maltby is the new chief executive of Kensington Group, the parent company of Kensington Mortgage Company, from August.He is currently with Abbey National Treasury Services and has been executive […]

Britannia&#39s flexible loan offers loyalty incentive

Britannia Building Society is offering a flexible mortgage which rewards the loyalty of its borrowers as competition in the market intensifies.Borrowers receive a 0.15 per cent discount on the interest rate if they keep their mortgage with the building society for five years. After 10 years, the discount increases by a further 0.15 per cent.Existing […]

Moneyextra and IFAP offer search site for the public

IFA Promotion and Moneyextra have joined forces to launch a website designed for consumers to searchfor IFAs.The public will be able to look online for IFAs by postcode or areas of financial interest and will have access to details of all IFAP members.Accessed through the Moneyextra site, the consumers will be able to choose from […]

Inheritance Tax, a tax on the wealthy? Urban myth or fact?

By Kim Jarvis, Technical Manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Inheritance tax has been around in some form since 1796. Estate duty dates back to 1894 and over the years this tax has evolved into the inheritance tax (IHT) we know and love today, which was introduced in 1986 as a replacement for […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    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