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TCF should be what is best for public

I have started to wonder whether the FSA is truly obligated to treating customers fairly.

As an example, if a client requires some life insurance and the premiums are, say, £65 a month from a tied or multi-tied adviser but £45 a month from an IFA, then the client is being distinctly disadvantaged by seeing a tied or multi-tied adviser.

We have long known the advantages of seeing an IFA but the FSA’s consultation papers, the retail distribution review and all the other reviews would appear to be a conduit for the banks and building societies to resurrect their direct salesforces to be able to sell wholly unsuitable products to the unsuspecting public.

Should the FSA not be encouraging all advisers to become whole of market independent advisers, thereby giving the best possible advantage to the general public?

If the FSA cannot promote independent advisers and advice, rather than tied advisers and advice, does it then not have a more serious question to ask and answer about its own raison d’etre?

After all, should not TCF really be about what is best for the public? If it is, what is the FSA’s answer to my question?

David Barnett

DPB Independent Financial Services, Edgware, Middlesex

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