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Unfair treatment

The proposed alteration of the rules governing the sale of financial products gives cause for concern.

We do not feel it is fair, just or reasonable to suggest that independence of judgement/advice can only be achieved if paid for through fees.

Qualification by examination, robust monitoring and regulations, together with indemnity insurance, capital adequacy requirements and continuing professional development and study are all existing necessities indicating advisers&#39 professional standing.

If on the one hand we are recognised as being professional enough to ratify the public&#39s money-laundering requirements, pension eligibility and Isa savings entitlement, how on the other hand is it not deemed to be satisfactory to allow that we will act professionally when selecting suitable products?

Our record of business is a statutory requirement available for regulatory scrutiny at any time. Any undue bias would be clearly visible.

If the fear is that commission payments might sway or influence judgement to our own advantage rather than that of the client, then address that issue by maintaining a close examination of our record of business and increasing the punishment of those guilty of unprofessional bias.

Fee-charging is at best an indication of bias-free advice, which is available to those who can afford it. A record of business, when read in conjunction with a fact-find and reasons-why letter, should be conclusive proof that suitability has been achieved. Do not confuse the public more by making spurious changes of status but build on and enforce the existing valued position.

Martin Blackie

Suzanne Whitehead

Investments and Financial Planning,

Blackburn, Lancashire


&#39Govt doing U-turn on annuities&#39

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Aussie Rules

Anyone considering how the proposals in CP121 could affect the UK&#39s financial services market should look to Australia. Having scrapped polarisation in the early 1990s, it already has 10 years&#39 experience of a distribution structure similar to that put forward by the FSA in CP121.Up until the 1980s, advice was not regarded as particularly important […]

Stamp duty

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures affecting stamp duty as follows:- Stamp Duty ReformThe Government have released a consultative document which seeks views on the detail of a new modern tax regime. Legislation will be included in the Finance Bill 2003 to reform stamp duty. The reform will build on the 2002 measures […]

National insurance

2002/03For tax year 2002/2003 the rate of employer&#39s Class 1 National Insurance contributions reduces from 11.9% to 11.8%. The employee&#39s rate will be 10%. The threshold above which employers and employees pay contributions is at £89 per week and the threshold above which the self-employed pay Class 4 contributions is £4,615. Details of National Insurance […]


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