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Virgin wants lighter regulation for Catmarked products

Virgin Direct is proposing a less stringent regulatory regime for Catmarked products as part of its response to the Sandler and FSA polarisation reviews.

It is proposing that companies offering Cat-standard products should benefit from a lighter regulatory touch.

It also argues for Catmarked products to be given tax breaks as a further carrot to the promotion of benchmarking.

The provider says there are not enough IFAs to advise all consumers and that many lower earners will increasingly be unable to afford independent financial advice.

Virgin goes on to argue that it would be disastrous if these people were left to tied agents who take large amounts of commission but sell significantly inferior products with a more limited service than IFAs.

Head of public affairs Martin Campbell says: “Our proposed &#39regulation lite&#39 for Catmarked products is not an attempt to limit the reach of IFAs. We are simply trying to ensure the majority of the population who IFAs do not help have easy access to the advice they need and suitable high quality products they deserve. For too long, the wider population has been left to the high-street dogs and commission-driven tied and direct salesmen.”


FSA criticised for poor handling of Equitable debacle

The FSA has been strongly criticised for its poor handling of the Equitable Life affair by the report looking at its role in the debacle.The report conceded most of the problems which led to the decision by the life office to close its doors to new business last December occurred before the FSA was handed […]

Summit sets long-term Aim

IFA group Summit Financial Holdings is joining the Ofex share trading platform to raise £487,500 as a stepping stone to an Aim flotation.It is closing Summit Financial Solutions Limited – Berkeley Independent network&#39s biggest member with 44 RIs – and moving the RIs to a new directly-regulated firm, Summit Financial Solutions.It has set up the […]

Govt invites ideas for annuity reform

The Government is giving its strongest indication yet that it is ready to reform the annuities regime as it holds meetings with leading industry representatives advocating relaxation of the rules.Specialist retirement adviser The Annuity Bureau and Dr Oonagh McDonald&#39s Retirement Income Reform Campaign are among a number of industry and other representatives which have been […]

FSA guidance on treating windfalls

The FSA is issuing guidance on how windfalls should be treated in the pension review and when handling mortgage endowment complaints.The guidance follows a High Court ruling earlier this year in the case of Needler Financial Services and Taber, which said windfalls from life office demutualisations should not be taken into account when assessing compensation.This […]


Guide: reporting to the Pensions Regulator — what and when?

Johnson Fleming has published a step-by-step guide demonstrating the importance of record keeping and reporting, and how it can ensure you operate a successful scheme. The guide takes you through some key questions you need to ask and identifies the information you need to obtain. The topics include: why you need to keep records and the benefits of doing this; registering your scheme; what information you need to record to ensure you meet the Pensions Regulator’s requirements; and what items need to be recorded and when.


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