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The FSA is the CA&#39s army, storms Francis

ABI director general Mary Francis has attacked the FSA, likening it to a provisional wing of the Consumers&#39 Association, saying it does little to recognise the efforts made by the industry to improve consumer confidence.

Francis&#39 onslaught follows her outspoken attack on the Treasury last year saying it should remember the Millen-nium Dome and leave the design and promotion of financial products to the industry.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Francis made no apologies for the strong language she used in a letter to a national newspaper last week. She defended her move, saying it is necessary to use colourful language when trying to make a point.

In the letter, she said: “A visitor from Mars would be forgiven for thinking, from the material it has publicised, that the FSA is engaged in a fight to death with existing providers.”

Francis also issued a stark warning that the “son of Myners” review into the retail financial services may be hampered by the large number of other ongoing reviews.

She expressed concern at the number of reviews being conducted in the financial services industry, saying there is a danger they will pre-empt the Treasury commissioned review led by Ron Sandler.

Francis says: “We have concerns about the number of reviews in progress at the moment. We hope the review conducted by Sandler, the son of Myners, should be able to take a fundamental and wide ranging review across the industry. It should not be pre-empted by other reviews that are ongoing.

“Essentially we agree with the FSA on the need for high standards of service to customers. Our only concern is that we regret the FSA has not given full weight and encouragement to the efforts the industry has taken to address the problems where necessary.”

Comment, p23


New Star poaches Newton fund manager

Newton Higher Income fund manager Toby Thompson has been poached by New Star Asset Management.Thompson will managed New Star’s equity income fund, which is set for launch later this year.

Scotland funding move set to boost LTC market

The long-term care market in Scotland is set to boom following the Scottish Executive&#39s decision to extend funding to personal as well as nursing care, claim IFAs and LTC providers.They say the announcement in last week&#39s budget to commit£200m in funding over the next two years will make LTC insurance more affordable and more IFAs […]

Leeds & Holbeck cashes in on Tessas

Leeds & Holbeck Building Society has unveiled a cash individualsavings account (Isa) for investors who have maturing tax exemptspecial savings accounts (Tessas.) The 2-year Tessa Isa is suitable for investors who are looking forsomewhere to put their Tessa cash but do not want to tie it upover the long-term. As a cash Isa, it could […]

Nationwide pilots Wap banking service

Nationwide is piloting a Wap phone banking service that it hopes to launch nationally later this summer. The service will enable members to view account balances and their last 12 transactions, transfer money between Nationwide accounts, view and make bill payments and order a replacement Pin number.Nationwide estimates that by 2003 more people will access […]

DB transfers – one more factor to consider

Jim Grant – Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst We look at how higher DB transfer values could cause a lifetime allowance issue and how that affects the advice process. Advisers are receiving an increasing number of requests from clients looking to transfer their pension from final salary schemes to personal pensions. This is a […]


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