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Thinc set for first multi-tie

Thinc is in pole position to become the first intermediary business to offer a multi-tie with a January 15 launch date for its limited market proposition.

Sesame and Bankhall both say they will not rush in with multi-ties while HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB will not say when they will launch any multi-ties.

Barclays says its multi-tie will start some time in the first half of 2005, while Lighthouse, Park Row and Millfield would not comment.

Thinc chief operating officer Simon Chamberlain says the firm will announce the product providers for its ties on December 13. He says: “This is a very positive move for the industry as a whole. We were set up for exactly this purpose.”

But Bankhall business development director Peter Mann claims there is little benefit in being the first to multi-tie. Bankhall says it will be building a limited multi-tie offering at some stage within the transitional period outlined by the FSA which ends on June 1, 2005. He says: “I do not see any reason to rush. There is no market advantage in making a rush move.”

Destini Group operations director Jon Everil also believes there is no advantage in being first to multi-tie.

Prestbury chief executive Lee Birkett says the group is launching a whole-of-market IFA business in January. He believes that multi-tie is only of benefit to intermediaries’ margins and that depolarisation will shake a lot of less productive IFAs out of the market. Birkett says: “The only reason that firms will go multi-tie is for commercial gain, not for the consumer. A lot of hurt is going to be felt over the next 12 weeks.”

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