The creation of multi-ties heightens the risk of misselling and makes the job of the FSA more difficult, according to one of the architects of polarisation, Sir Mark Weinberg.
St James' Place chairman Weinberg says gap-filling would have been sufficient to give tied consumers access to a better range of advice and products and would not have the risks associated with multi-ties.
In an interview in this issue of Money Marketing, Weinberg says he made the argument to the FSA while it was consulting on polarisation but it did not heed the warning, listening instead to the big banks which were pushing for the abolition of polarisation.
Weinberg says the FSA will face large numbers of firms approaching it to become multi-tied and will ultimately regret creating the middle tier of adviser.
He casts doubt on the Sandler suite of products motivating savings, saying the Government would inevitably have to accept compulsion.
Weinberg chaired the 1986 committee of product providers, advisers, regulators and civil servants which designed the current polarisation regime.
He says: “An IFA is required to give best advice while someone who chooses to multi-tie can get whatever commission they like. It is a deliberate policy here that in the multi-tie field, people can do whatever they like. If there are going to be problems, they are going to develop around that.”
FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but ours is that this will be most beneficial to consumers.”