It was never going to please everybody, which means Sandler's review today has caused a considerable...
It was never going to please everybody, which means Sandler's review today has caused a considerable amount of commentary on his proposals for shaking up the UK savings market.
While there is a generous amount of praise of the work put in, there is also a certain amount of criticism, particularly relating to the issue of pensions simplification, which was never Sandler's core brief in any case.
Hargreaves Lansdown, for example, says that the idea put forward that low income earners should not invest in pensions products contradicts the calls for compulsion that are likely to come with Alan Pickering's proposals for pensions simplification expected on Thursday.
"How can you possibly expect to reduce the savings gap if you are suggesting that part of the market should not save for their retirement. This will cause confusion and increase consumer apathy. How will Pickering's call for compulsion fit with this? The MIG and Pensions Credit is the real problem," Hargreaves says.
Scottish Life says that the call for simplification is all well and good, but without backing up product simplicity with an environment in which such products will actually stand a good chance of working, it may be difficult to turn Sandler's recommendations into reality.
What of the issues of means-tested benefits, for example, and what of the tax efficiencies currently associated with commissions if the market is shifted towards the defined payment system first mooted in CP121 and to which Sandler today lent his support, SL asks.
The ABI says the simplification proposals put out today do not go far enough, and it intends to publish more of its own ideas on how to streamline the savings and investments process still further in order to lop another "£5bn" off the current £27bn savings gap.
Investment returns are another area where Sandler's papers stirred up some controversy.
The IMA broadly welcomes the proposals for managed stakeholder products, but says the figures quoted in support of tracker funds providing better returns than actively managed funds are flawed - however, despite this it still agrees with the recommendations put forward.
Still, there are no expectations that those recommendations will result in a reduction in the number of investment products so make way for simpler investments.
A certain section of the investment community, represented by the NAPF, showed a certain sang-froid in response to Sandler by simply stating that it meant nothing without the presence of Pickering's review and the Inland Revenue report due in September - now likely to be paired with another document from the FSA, according to the regulator this afternoon.
The NAPF's view is that Sandler without the other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle cannot provide the full picture of life post-depolarisation.
AIFA's director general Paul Smee, on the other hand, is of the view that Sandler does indeed paint a full picture, and it is a prettier than expected one at that.
The focus on the importance of independence and subsequent discussions on remuneration with the Sandler team following publication this morning indicate there could be room for manoeuvre that would please everyone, Smee says.
What first comes across in the recommendations as fee-based advice is in fact a form of commission rebating that sits between the CP121 proposals for DPS and AIFA's response to those proposals.
AIFA is particularly pleased about the recommendations for the FSA to come up with a particular definition of "mis-selling", which it believes will help calm IFA nerves ruffled by thoughts of a tidal wave of bureaucracy and red tape.
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