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Timetable for change

The changes announced in Gordon Brown&#39s pre-Bud get report represent the most radical shake-up of retail financial services for more than 12 years.

The first phase will bring the abolition of polarisation for sales of stakeholder, Cat marked Isas and fund supermarket products.

It will allow tied age nts to sell products from more than one provider for the first time since polarisation was introduced in 1988.

Further changes are exp ected to follow next year when the FSA consults with the industry.

Brown outlined plans for Cat-standard Isas and stakeholder to be sold on a multi-tied basis in his pre-Budget speech last week.

Direct-offer advertising is also included in the first round of change, allowing fund supermarkets to advertise a number of providers on their platform.

A second round of consultation on fundamental chan ges to polarisation is planned for mid-2001.

The review intends to cover all the options available from the complete abolition of polarisation to the introduction of gap-filling.

The Government&#39s dec ision follow recommendations made by the FSA.

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