Effect of changes is opposite to that intended
The definition of 'Independent' is, of course: 'Not depending on...'
That's why I agree with the editorial stance you took two week's ago taking issue with Torquil Clark's strategic partnership programme. I believe IFAs should be prohibited from accepting any kind of financial support or marketing assistance from product providers, be they for Isa guides, mailshots or any other purpose.
I also believe this is a problem that will get worse, not better, with the death of polarisation, for which the FSA should also be condemned.
Allowing product providers to purchase distribution by taking stakes in IFA networks is bad enough, but to then soften the line regarding 'better than best' product recommendations makes it worse. The FSA pretends it is allowing all this to strengthen, rather than subborn, the IFA channel, as well as to enable 'gap filling' by high-street product providers so they can 'improve' the range of products and services they sell to the public.
The reality, of course, is just the opposite: IFAs and product providers alike will have more incentive and fewer restrictions than ever before to plug products that pay the highest commission, rather than those that are best value or most suitable. The whole thing stinks and the FSA should be ashamed of itself.
Partner Insight: For Blackfinch, the arrival of its IHT portfolio services was a 'natural evolution' in the group's offering and points to an established track record of returning cash to investors.
Senior Managers Regime
Interest rate outlook unchaged