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Why did we depolarise in the first place?

The retail distribution review interim report is polarisation reinstated.

Why did we have all the palaver about depolarisation and will the regulator flip-flop between the two philosophies for evermore? Will this now see an end to the debate?

The second point concerns remuneration. I am relaxed about absolute transparency and ending provider influence but as I put in my submission:1: How will we be sure the costs of commission (and associated “acquisition” costs) are fully passed on via factory gate pricing? Will this not just be an opportunity for providers to increase margins at consumers’ expense?2: How will providers differentiate themselves? Only so many can win on pure features, performance and service, so what next? Hidden inducements or freebies? Will we be able to replicate, for example, the practice of having more invested than the face value of the cheque as a consequence of offsetting high commission against allocation rates?

Harry Katz
Norwest Consultants
Stanmore, Middlesex


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