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The simple truth about our roles in the industry

The financial services industry is a vital one and good advisers perform


an undervalued public service. If you had not noticed, it is under very


fierce attack by well meaning but mis guided authority. A one-eyed


orang-utan could see what is wrong – if he cared to look.


Only independent advisers can give true best advice all the time. We


cannot predict nor guarantee success but we can at least guide people


through the maze.


Remuneration should be mainly as at present, with a choice of fees or


standard ised level playing field commission open to all.


This should suit all genuine practitioners and proper self-regulation


would follow. The life companies, investment houses and IFAs providing bad


service and performance will be weeded out.


The PIA/FSA have all the powers they need to punish malpractice. They


should concentrate on this rather than their current fixation with trivial


wordings and petty admin procedures.


There should only be two sales channels for life and investment business,


IFAs and direct, and I mean the Virgin internet type, not company reps.


In return, all IFAs have to realise that we are a service industry and not


a sales industry. Enough people need advice to accommodate the current tied


agents as IFAs. Networks, who must scrap any panels they may have, provide


a valuable service for those who need support.


The LIA and Sofa should be banished to the wilderness for their


polarisation views.


Direct-sales channels will handle a growing amount of the easily executed


business. These companies make money at the push of a button or the receipt


of a tear-off slip. They can obviously charge less, even if they often


don&#39t.


Advice is not sought or given and customers are responsible for their own


actions. They may appreciate the current low costs of advice when they have


had their fingers burnt.


There, simple, if you can see the wood for the trees – or should that be


decision trees?



Philip Bartholomew


Fife Independent Financial Advice,


Glenrothes,


Fife

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