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Unification could allow more leeway for product innovation

Greater innovation in product design could follow the decision to bring general insurance and mortgage advice under the umbrella of the FSA.

While a unified regulator will remove the hurdle of multiple regulation, commentators say it will also result in restricted distribution as many brokers exit the market.

They also predict an increased cost to consumers from the move.

FSA regulation of mortgage, investment and general insurance advice will remove anomalies such as earlier this year when IFAs faced the spectre of dual regulation after stakeholder rules required the unbundling of pension and protection products, which were to be regulated by the FSA and GISC respectively.

Swiss Re technical manager Ron Wheatcroft says: “I expect to see innovation in product design. It will now be easier to accommodate general insurance with life and pension products, which our research shows is something that consumers want.

“But advice is expensive and it would be unfortunate if regulating advice meant that some intermediaries withdraw from the market and made it more difficult to get advice.”

Wentworth Rose managing director Philip Rose says: “Regulation tends to restrict product innovation but wrapping in general insurance with a product is much better than have them separately.”

Pretty Technical partner Kim North says: “There are going to be big changes in the distribution of mortgages and general insurance products. Product providers will have to be much cleverer at putting combo products together.”


Decision saves Government embarassment says Boulger

The Government’s decision to regulate general insurance neatly solves the embarrassment over General Insurance Standards Council, says mortgage expert Ray Boulger.The status of the body set up to self regulate the general insurance market had suffered a blow after a successful legal challenge to its requirement for all intermediaries selling general insurance to submit to […]

Genesis&#39 common approach works for IFAs

Genesis Home Loans says its recently launched common application form has been well received by intermediaries.It says it has achieved its aim to develop a standard form for intermediaries making mortgage applications for clients that lets them choose from a wide range of lenders but keep stocks and paperwork to manageable levels.Genesis says common forms […]

Independent view

When I started my practice six years ago, I had a tough decision to make. I could sit on my backside waiting for hoards of eager clients to knock on my door seeking advice or go out and sell myself.If I had chosen the former, my career as an IFA would have been short-lived.There is […]

Mortgage decision creates level playing field says Halifax

Halifax has welcomed the announcement that mortgage advice is to be regulated by the FSA, saying it will create a level playing field for consumers and the industry. Halifax says it has long taken the view that mortgage firms should be regulated by a single body and says it is pleased that all intermediaries will […]

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them


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