Independent financial advisers have dismissed David Stonebanks' current attempt to demutualise Stand...
Independent financial advisers have dismissed David Stonebanks' current attempt to demutualise Standard Life as "ludicrous" and "ridiculous".
This comes as Stonebanks yesterday added more sparks to the controversy by turning his criticism towards any IFA not advising their clients to vote for demutualisation.
Speaking to IFAonline, Stonebanks said:
"IFAs MUST recommend their clients to vote in favour of demutualisation. An IFA is obliged to advise their clients in their clients best interest and it has got to be in the clients best interest to vote for demutualisation."
Pushing even further, he added that: "I shall make a formal complaint to the FSA about any IFAs I find advising against demutualisation."
Paul Banfield, partner at Best Advice, says the latest move by retired lecturer Stonebanks is only a bid to try to win over IFAs to get his own way.
Stating that he won't be listening to anything Stonebanks says at all, Banfield adds that: "Each individual client has their own particular needs. Some would be better off with demutualisation and some would be worse, but I would advice each client on their own specific circumstances".
Banfield also brushes off Stonebanks' "threat" about making a formal complaint to the FSA about any IFA failing to follow suit, adding that it is not possible for him to make a complaint - only the clients can.
His comments are backed up by Robert Rackliffe, chief executive of Aurora Financial Group, who deems Stonebanks' position as absolutely "ludicrous".
Rackliffe says: "I don't really see his point. My personal view is that Standard Life has to do what they think is right for their policyholders. I don't think anyone has got the right to say what's best for a company".
"I think a lot of data can be interpreted in different ways. But for him to say that he is going to complain to the FSA is ridiculous."
This issue seem to unite the majority of IFAs as director of Alan Steele Asset Management, Stan Chuchla, agrees with Banfield's view that you have to advice each individual client on their individual basis adding that "there is no way you can advice on block".
According to a spokesperson for the FSA, clients wishing to make a complaint should in first instance turn to their IFA. If that attempt fails, the client may approach the financial ombudsman.
Do you have any comments to add? What do you think the FSA's position on this matter should be? To add your comments, email your thoughts to the editorial team through the right-hand links.
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