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Wide-ranging debate after gruelling year

Well that really was a bit of a rotten year wasn’t it, and next year is going to carry its own challenges too.

We hope it wasn’t too bad for you and that next year markets and assets of all types begin their recovery though, surely it must be the stockmarket first.

In terms of advice, we know that lots of very good advisers have been keeping clients informed through the turmoil and providing reassurance.

But a little bit of performance improvement probably would not go amiss in these times to take a little bit of the heat out of the conversations.

Almost every type of financial institution is having to consider its business model and that includes advisers.

The industry will need to have a debate with itself about lending practices and how to advise on mortgages. It will need to consider how it goes about assessing risk given that some of the products that were meant to have been low-risk have gone wrong, albeit in exceptional circumstances.

It may need to have a discussion with itself about the workings of asset allocation and indeed how it has served clients, particularly in the run-up to retirement.

And then the industry needs to work out how it relates to consumers and clients and convince them how to borrow more responsibly and to save more over their working lives.

In all this, advisers are also battling to keep their own heads above water. It is, whatever flaws have been exposed, essential that a strong advice sector is preserved.

We only hope that we can convince the FSA of this.

One of the biggest areas of concern for this newspaper has been capital adequacy proposals from the FSA. In this week’s issue, consultant Phil Billingham, writing with the approval of the Institute of Financial Planning suggests that trail for six months should also count as capital for the purposes of regulation.

Mr Billingham also points out what a costly business model change can be and suggests that the FSA may not have quite considered the full consequences of this in its paper.

We hope that the FSA takes note and indeed in the debate over capital it takes a flexible approach given the current very, very difficult climate for everyone whatever model they are on or stage of transition they are at.


Libor nears 3%

Three-month Libor has continued to drop closer to 3 per cent.

Leading Edge June – Investment panel debate

RLAM’s asset class specialists discuss some of the findings from the panel session at our recent Investment Conference. By Rob Williams, Head of Distribution Welcome to the latest edition of Leading Edge. It has been an eventful six months since the last e-zine. The European Central Bank announced ongoing stimulus measures, while the immigration crisis in Europe threw the […]


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