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We won&#39t be tied up in a business straitjacket

I am writing on Mark Dampier&#39s behalf in response to Philip Thomas&#39s latest letter (Money Marketing, April 4), CP121 widens the rich/poor divide).

On reading Mr Thomas&#39s latest offering, Mark had, what has been described as a “temporary lapse of sanity”and was carried off by men in white coats for a short break in a straitjacket.

Mark has never had a problem being understood before and was found beating his head against a brick wall clutching the Money Marketing letters page.

Hopefully, I can clarify the position beyond all doubt.

Hargreaves Lansdown is a multi-faceted company with a number of different methods of distribution.

The main part of our business is as a direct-offer discount broker, although we also have some 40 registered individuals, including myself, who advise on individual and group pensions, investments and life insurance.

We are also fund managers and award-winning stockbrokers.

Under CP121, the only difference between an independent and a firm multi-tied to the whole market appears to be one on choice for the consumer, fees or commission.

Our point is that CP121 is unlikely to change the way that we or most other IFAs do business.

Business may just be done under a different title, for example, broker.

However, we do not use the word “independent” in our name, so a name change for us probably will not be necessary.

Does that mean that we are currently a multi tie? No, we are not tied to anyone.

Does that mean we can decide from all the products and funds available which to promote to our clients?

Yes.

Among our staff of 325 or so, we have a research team that undertakes quantitative and qualitative research on the funds and products that we promote.

I have just been downstairs to check and they are still there.

If Mr Thomas would like to visit Hargreaves Lansdown and meet the research team so he can see for himself, I would be delighted to show him round.

We can finish the day by going to visit Mark at the local sanatorium where hopefully, normal service will resume shortly.

Danny Cox

Pensions development

manager,

Hargreaves Lansdown

Bristol

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