View more on these topics

Titanic Equitable steers course direct for icebergs

I watched the film Titanic the other night and the similarities between the management and the eventual demise of that ship and the management and potential fate of Equitable Life were remarkable.

Having received the most recent correspondence from Equitable Life with regard to the High Court&#39s approval of the compromise, I was astounded to read some of the comments made by the captains at the helm of the good ship Equitable.

Can they not, even now, accept responsibility for their actions without having to fire a broadside at IFAs? Without rambling on about IFAs advising their clients to “take their uplifts, surrender and run” and “such action often generates commission income for IFAs” and “another provider may charge them an entry fee, which could be as high as 5 per cent”?

First, do they realise how many Equitable Life clients are actually coming to IFAs and telling us to “get their money the heck out of Equitable”?

Do the captains seriously believe that the passengers on board the Equitable still trust them or wish to remain on board a ship that has been listing so badly, for so long?

Oh, and what about commission, that small thing that Equitable Life never paid it&#39s advisers? “We don&#39t pay the middleman” the captains shouted over their loudspeakers from the ship&#39s bridge.

You can imagine that my clients on the lower decks were quite surprised to discover just how well remunerated the Equitable Life advisers were through bonuses and sales costs, etc.

At least IFAs are up front about any commission and fees earned. Oh, and with regard to the entry fee charged by other providers receiving transfers. Hello, captains! Stakeholder pensions enable free transfers and low ongoing charges.

Yes, there is a 10 per cent financial adjuster but rather than being left stranded on deck with not enough lifeboats, some clients are quite prepared to accept the penalty.

Transferring away from a with-profits fund (why are so many Equitable clients, even the younger ones, in withprofits?) into a soundly managed unit linked fund, especially while equity markets are so low, offers clients the chance to make up any losses and then to steam ahead in the future.

There are plenty of ships seeking passengers who have taken, and will continue to take, the necessary action to legislate for, and navigate around, those icebergs.

Simon Welch

Temple Court UK Ltd,




Nationwide two-year tracker

Nationwide two-year trackerType: Capped trackerTracker term: Two yearsTracker rate: Cap of 7.99% during the first two years. Up to 75% LTV — Bank of England base rate plus 0.09%, 75-95% – BBR plus 0.19%, 90-95% – BBR plus 0.29%.Minimum loan: N/AMaximum loan: £500,000. Larger loans subject to individual reviewIncome multiples: 3.5 times singleArrangement fee: Non-refundable […]

Diggle is not to be taken lightly

You awful people in the retirement industry have embroiled yourselves and your investors in a “complex monopoly”, according to influential Inland Revenue official Paula Diggle.Translated, we think this means IFAs and insurers are using a combination of generous commission, withprofits hocus pocus and polarisation to stitch up the retirement market.Perhaps this is a harsh interpretation […]

NU allows online term assurance

Norwich Union is launching a new service to allow IFAs to submit term assurance online. NU says the service can process applications from start to finish in around 15 minutes. It is available through its extranet site at The move comes after NU&#39s research found that 41 per cent of IFAs believe it takes […]

Another MVA by Equitable

Equitable Life has slapped a market value adjuster on yet another set of policyholders who have so far managed to escape the 10 per cent penalty on early transfers.Retirement annuity pension policyholders over 50 wanting to take benefits before their contractual retirement age of 60 had been allowed to transfer in to a personal pension […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Pension freedom: wish you were here?

Out there lies a warm ocean of desert islands, sun, sand and palm trees, where individuals can choose how and when to tax-efficiently access their pension fund and realise the retirement dreams they have worked so hard for.


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 thought leadership.

    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