View more on these topics

The moral of the Standard story

Most IFAs are probably relieved that Standard Life is not to be embroiled in a costly, distracting demutualisation battle.

The retired lecturer David Stonebanks, who delivered his request for a demutualisation vote in a shopping trolley, has not filed a valid resolution, according to Standard&#39s lawyers.

This is, of course, the fellow who threatened to report IFAs to the FSA if they did not recommend demutualisation to their clients, a move that proved his skills of persuasion were on a par with his drafting ability.

If there had been a vote, most IFAs would probably have decided that, in pure financial terms for most of their clients, any payout from demutualisation would not make up for expected lower payouts from a plc. Best advice in most cases was probably to vote for mutuality.

Standard provides much needed competition for the plcs and is a vocal supporter of the IFA sector. Standard says its research shows that 72 per cent of IFAs want it to stay mutual.

The counter-argument is that only shareholders can achieve adequate accountability from the insurer. Standard made a poor call on the stockmarket a few years ago and has seen its assets dramatically reduced as a result. There have also been questions about the pay and bonuses of its top executives.

But the real issue is whether Standard is morally correct to ignore a resolution which had 1,420 valid signatories. Standard says its pollings suggest that the vast majority of policyholders do not want it to change but whether it is correct to refuse a vote remains debatable.

Like the Terminator, Stonebanks says he will be back. Money Marketing would rather that he reconsidered but expects him to begin gathering support again.


Misys members get in early for Friends online Protection deal

Misys&#39 members will be given early access to Friends Provident&#39s new online underwriting system which the life office claims will drastically reduce the time it takes to process protection applications from weeks to minutes.The network&#39s advisers will be able to use Friends&#39 underwriting process which aims to give 60 per cent of all cases immediate […]

Outside edge

As the compensation culture bandwagon rolls on, it has been suggested that fund managers should be more proactive in providing redress to investors if there has been a clear case of mismanagement. While a laudable concept, I feel this would open up a massive can of worms.Certainly, if mismanagement involved a fund management group not […]

Brokers criticise A&L loan stance on London and SE

Alliance & Leicester&#39s announcement last week that it is to take a cautious approach to lending in London and the South-east has had a mixed response from brokers.A&L says it has ruled out lending over 90 per cent on properties between £150,000 and £350,000 or more than 75 per cent on a house worth over […]


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