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With-profits hurdles remain for advisers

FundsNetwork says the FSA’s investigation into with-profits has done little to help advisers who still face the same hurdles when reviewing client policies.

The regulator sent a letter to with-profits providers in September reinforcing the need for them to treat policyholders fairly. Its move followed two thematic reviews into the sectorThe first review found that providers did not always provide information in good time to those responsible for the independent review of the management of funds.

The second review looked at closed with-profits funds and found that some providers had not devoted sufficient attention to managing the run-off of the fund.

Research by FundsNetwork has found that 62 per cent of advisers say the biggest hurdle they face is the ability to get information from providers quickly.

One in four feels there is a general lack of information about with-profits policies while 48 per cent say it is difficult to compare the product against alternative funds.

One third of advisers say they lack the administrative resources to carry out a with-profits review properly and 39 per cent says it is difficult to find the time to read through providers’ principles and practices of financial management. Funds Network surveyed 174 advisers.

Head of sales and marketing Rob Fisher says: “The FSA is working hard to offset the pitfalls that surround with profits but it is not surprising that advisers are still having to jump the same hurdles. It would be naive to think that these issues can be eradicated overnight.”

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