View more on these topics

Where is scrutiny of Governments?

Restoring confidence in savings has become a holy grail in financial services.

A few suggestions, mostly but not exclusively from the Treasury select committee, include traffic-light-style risk warnings on products, stress-testing for different market conditions, reforms to commission, greater scrutiny of marketing literature on execution-only sales and concerns about depolarisation.

The concerns about depolarisation will certainly take many by surprise and although it is unlikely to affect the direction of a reform bulldozed through by the Treasury, it may help to concentrate minds about the pitfalls of the new system.

Some of these suggestions may be helpful while others are less so but they all appear to cover operational issues either in regulation or in how providers interact with distributors and how they interact with customers and clients.

The big omission is any critique of what Governments have done over the past 10 or 15 years, not just this Labour Government but also the previous Tory administration, and include tax policy, savings policy and regulation.

The first big failing came with Government-advocated transfers from company pension schemes in the 1990s, runs through cuts in tax breaks and includes the ducking of any responsibility in the Equitable Life debacle. It might also require an explanation of the consumer detriment from endowment mortgages, although this is less driven by Government policy.

Select committees were set up to scrutinise Government departments. If the Treasury select committee fails to scrutinise the Treasury in the case of restoring confidence in savings then any ideas may lack a proper foundation and the holy grail will remain as elusive as ever.



Do you agree with Sesame group chief executive Patrick Gale that only IFA networks with more than 500 RIs will survive? “No. Size is not the only factor. If they are astute enough, the smaller ones can survive.” Frank Gow, Ashwood Law“Yes. It is a continuation of what we have been experiencing in the last […]

The future for Isis and F&C

I have long believed the asset management industry is ripe for consolidation. There are over 1,000 asset management companies in Europe. The fragmented nature of the industry is even more apparent at the product level, with over 2,000 onshore open-ended funds and well over 11,000 offshore funds available to UK investors alone. In global terms, […]

Standard suffers from &#39consumer resistance&#39

Standard Life&#39s new UK life and pension business has fallen by 13 per cent from £483m for the first half of last year to £417m this year. The decline has been put down to a 22 per cent fall in individual pension sales from £170m to £133m and a 23 per cent fall in investment […]

FSA launches hotline for reporting misleading financial advertisements

The FSA has set up a hotline for the public and firms to report in strict confidence misleading advertisements for financial products. The initiative, launched today, is part of an FSA drive to regulate financial advertising. The new department which is leading the effort monitors advertising on television, the internet and in newspapers. The rules […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm