Raising Standards, the new system for guaranteeing quality of advice in the with-profits market adhe...
Raising Standards, the new system for guaranteeing quality of advice in the with-profits market adhered to by members of the Association of British Insurers, is more than enough to meet the FSA's concerns with the sector, the association has said.
The project answers criticisms outlined by the FSA and in the Sandler Review, the ABI adds, and has already attracted nine providers representing more than 50% of the with profits market.
A spokeswoman for the association says the fact such a proportion of with-profits providers have already agreed to the standards, which are expensive to implement, indicates their belief that the FSA will not push for yet stricter standards.
"Hopefully there will not be too many additional rules. These are companies with document print runs of millions, so going back to them and saying they need to amend something can be very costly," the spokeswoman says.
Compliance with Raising Standards is overseen by the Pensions Protection Investments Accreditation Board, which the ABI says is another guarantee that the regime is solid.
The ABI cannot say, however, what would happen if the FSA did force a considerable additional regulatory burden on the with-profits sector.
Neither is it in a position to comment on how the reception has been among customers to the new rules on explaining MVRs in the Key Features Documents now being send out.
As the equities bear market continues, with-profits schemes are continuing to feel the squeeze and are forcing MVRs up to levels that many consumers see as frightening evidence of unbearable liabilities.
The ABI also admits that until the Treasury has committed itself one way or the other on the question of pensions investments products in order to increase the national savings rate, Raising Standards will continue to attract questions.
Further news on additional ABI members adopting the regime is expected in the next few weeks.
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