Tory Govt presents opportunity for IFAs, says Osborne

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has claimed that the Conservative Party’s economic policies will present a big opportunity for the IFA sector.

Osborne has also voiced “grave concerns” about personal accounts, claiming that the meanstesting issue could see the scheme becoming the “next scandal” if it is not resolved.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers’ biennial conference in London this morning, Osborne said Conservative proposals such as moving the UK from being built on debt to based around savings were good news for advisers.

He said: “We want independent financial advice services and I would hope that our proposals to encourage the country to move from debt to savings should open up all sorts of opportunities for the sector to talk to people about how they can best save for their retirement for example, whether they go into the traditional pension, whether they use Isas and the like. I think that is an opportunity for the sector.”

Also at the conference, Osborne predicted that Government ministers would be “tearing their hair out” in 10 years’ time if the personal accounts scheme was allowed to push ahead without the issue of meanstesting being resolved.

He said: “We want to maintain our cooperation but you have got to deal with this danger of misselling otherwise this is going to be the next scandal in 10 years time and this industry and the Government ministers involved will be tearing their hair out saying, ‘how did we get this so wrong?’

“If you are selling to someone who, as a result, is going to lose meanstested benefits then you are in danger of misselling to them. Instead of ignoring that issue it is fundamental to personal accounts and needs to be resolved.”

Osborne also lambasted the Government for excluding the Conservatives from the decision-making process.

He said: “I think as the opposition and as the people who are hopefully going to be the next Government in 12 months time, we are entitled to be part of the Government decision-making process for what is going to be a long-term change to our country.

“At the moment, the Government and the Department for Work and Pensions do not really engage with us and I do not think that is very sensible when you are trying to create a system that needs to work over a long period of time.”

Osborne said encouraging saving through the tax system would be a central task for the Tories as would be trying to avoid the “uncertainty and damage” caused by rushed tax changes.

He said: “We will reform the way we make tax law, imposing a new requirement that all technical changes to the tax system will have to be published at the pre-Budget report and there will be proper Parliamentary scrutiny, with the ability to take evidence from outside experts. We will also make use of the expertise in the tax profession with secondees working together with officials in a new office for tax simplification who will hold the ring on consultations.”

He revealed the Conservatives are developing plans to create an independent office for Budget responsibility which will take over responsibility from the Chancellor for publishing Budget forecasts and will ensure the party shores up Government finances.


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The right noises
    And hope for a new tomorrow where persuading people to save, and being rewarded for it, is recognised as a valuable service to society.

  2. Julian Stevens 9th June 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Tory Govt presents opportunity for IFAs, says Osborne
    Let us hope that a major reform of the country’s regulatory system is also on the cards.

  3. Tory Govt present opportunity for IFA’s
    There’s already a risk of complaints from those who save small amounts into stakeholder. Lets hope the Tory’s value Independent advice enough to champion our cause and halt the inevitable exodus from our industry by colleagues weary of the regulatory ‘big stick’.

  4. Tory Govt present opportunity for IFA’s
    I hope the Tories really do present opportunities and at last look at the FSA and their cronies performances.
    1) Presiding over the failing of Financial Services by the FSA and then increasing their bonuses by 40%.
    2) failing to regulate fairly by placing too much emphasis on small IFAs (who have a small level of complaints) and ignoring the large institutions (banks & insurance companies) who have large numbers of complaints.

    To much has been done by the FSA to favour their cronies and they continue to do so even after all that has happened in Financial Services. Who is regulating the regulators? Their actions show favour to large institutions, discriminate against small IFAs (RDR), they do not effectively regulate the providers (IP) and do not treat ALL customers fairly (NDL fiasco).
    I can’t wait for a change in regime!

  5. Opportunity for IFA’s
    Mr Osborne’s comments while highlighting the problem of means tested benefits introduced the sceptre of “misselling”. I don’t think he appreciates that there will be no advice offered to employees being automatically enrolled in PA’s so therefore there cannot be “misselling”
    I personally feel that until th egovernment understand that people do not buy pensions and need advice we will not solve the savings for retirment problem. They should use the stakeholder model, modify charges and introduce compulsion as should have been done in 2001.

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