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Year to Year: 1986

The year began with Prudential announcing plans to enter the estate agency business with the launch of Prudential Property Services and a nationwide chain of estate agents. Little did it know that a few years later it would sell them all at a massive loss.

DBS chairman Ken Davy urged IFAs to write to their MPs expressing concern about the flood of regulation that would force many small IFA firms to close. Money Marketing backed his call and began a long campaign for a single trade body to represent all IFAs.

In the House of Commons, Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittain told MPs the Financial Services Bill would be backed by the sanctions of criminal law.

The central mortgage lenders arrived with a bang in late February and National Home Loans chief executive Richard Lacy warned: “Mortgages will never again be a building society preserve. They will be a product like any other: priced and packaged to make them attractive and offered for sale in a free market.”

In mid-March, Hertfordshire IFA Alan Burchell revealed plans for a press advertising campaign, funded by IFAs around the country, which would refer customers to their nearest participating IFA His plans came to nothing but this idea gave way to IFA Promotion a few years later.

Chancellor Nigel Lawson used his third Budget to flesh out the Government’s commitment to popular capitalism with the introduction of Personal Equity Plans and the replacement of capital transfer tax with inheritance tax.

Ken Davy continued his campaign on the behalf of small IFAs with the launch of a broker trade body, the Association of Authorised Independent Investment Advisers.

In April, UK Provident revealed it had insufficient assets to match its bonus commitments. The DTI and Friends Provident came to its rescue with a forced “merger” between the two offices.

In May, SIB published its proposals for intermediaries care of clients’ money, and SDP leader David Owen call for full disclosure of IFAs’ commission. Meanwhile, the ABI started to get to grips with Aids, an issue which was met at first with ill-informed hysteria in the industry.

Fimbra made its debut at the end of May, when Nasdim – The National Association of Security Dealers and Investment Managers – found that its preferred new name of Ibro – the Investment Brokers Regulatory Organisation – was already taken.

Sun Life of Canada became the latest firm to offer its own range of unit trusts through the com¬pany’s direct sales force. And as details of UKP’s collapse emerged, it was revealed that unquoted securities valued at £163m had fallen to £97m. By the end of June, building societies were getting ready to receive wider powers due in 1987. July also saw the demise of Rolac and an L&G survey about the proposed Serp changes concluded that seven million people might opt out.

In September, building societies and banks launched a flood of special offers to win back funds from savers who had been disappointed by the TSB floatation. Dissatisfaction with Fimbra led some societies aiming for independent status to say they would go directly to SIB for authorisation. In November, financial advisers welcomed the launch of The Independent.

In December, the Scottish Independent Intermediaries Association made its first appearance.

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