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What next, driving instructors that cannot drive?

I feel I must respond to the front-page article headed, Consumer groups call for free advice. So the Consumers&#39 Association believe that IFAs provide the best quality advice but the price is too high for many consumers.

Well, this is not really a surprise to anyone, surely? Although the commission system of remuneration may not be ideal, it does (did) provide a service for clients who want to arrange financial services “products” but do not want to pay fees.

However, as the Government have gone down the cheap is best route on stakeholder, which does not allow scope for an adviser&#39s fee to be built in, this is creating a void for clients who cannot afford to seek independent advice. The outcome will, of course, be misbuying on a large scale and the Government will be able to hold their hands up in 25-30 years time and say “Sorry, nothing to do with us guv, it was that other lot.”

However, IFAs will, of course, be responsible until the grave.

As for Virgin&#39s proposal for computer-based decision-tree-walking by salaried non-FPC-qualified advisers, well, I still cannot decide if this is some sort of wind-up or not.

I mean, what next? Driving instructors that can&#39t drive but have a good set of road maps? It really does beggar belief but nothing should surprise any of us anymore.

Paul Spires


Firm&#39s new angle on fund selection

IFA software house Shouts has launched a new investment fund selection service which could revolutionise the way IFAs pick their clients&#39 portfolios.The software takes the form of an investment decision tree that will guide IFAs through a list of questions before producing a short list of suitable funds for their client.As well as allowing IFAs […]

Principality goes for cashback

Principality Building Society has introduced the cashback discount mortgage.Aimed at both first time buyers and existing borrowers looking to remortgage, the mortgage has a discount of 0.25 per cent for the first five years of the loan. This gives it a payable rate of 6.2 per cent for loans of up to 95 per cent […]

Man Investment Products – Man-IP 220 Plus (Series 3)

Thursday, 24 May 2001.Type: Offshore bond.Aim: Growth by investing in futures and hedge funds.Minimum investment: $50,000 or Euros 50,000.Place of registration: Bermuda.Investment split: 100 per cent in futures and hedge funds.Yield: US dollar 18-20 per cent, Euro 17-19 per cent.Isa link: No.Charges: Annual 3 per cent.Commission: Subject to negotiation.Tel: 0041 554153636.

&#39UK public worry constantly about their finances&#39

People in the UK are stres-sed by money, according to a survey by Halifax.The Wealth of Nation survey by its Share Dealing service found that out of the 2,000 people questioned, almost a quarter said they think about money constantly.The survey found 23 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men always have […]

What are the key changes to transform pensions?

By Fiona Tait, pensions specialist In her final article for Royal London, Fiona Tait reviews key changes she believes have transformed, or will transform, pensions. In my 12 years with Royal London I have been paid to review, study and explain the numerous changes to pension legislation which have transformed our industry in that time. This is […]


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