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The FA Week in Words 17 May

“Innovate or die.” That was the message emanating from a report by Weber Shandwick on retail product providers.

By Marc Shoffman | Published May 18, 2012 | comments

Speaking as a 30-page Innovation or Rebirth report from Weber Shandwick’s policy division was unveiled during an industry debate hosted by the firm, Liz Wolstenholme, consumer planning director, said: “The economic picture is gloomy, and some people are even moonlighting to make extra money, but they don’t know what to do with that money.

“However, the report shows there is little appetite for new financial advice or new offerings. People are burying their heads in sand and this will only increase after the retail distribution review.”

IFAs

An IFA consolidator unveiled plans to help any firms with an exit strategy ahead of the RDR. Grenville Turner, group chief executive of property specialist Countrywide and chairman of the new firm, said: “With Oaktree and Countrywide’s full backing, Bellpenny will provide any IFA thinking of exiting the market with a fully funded cash option, and the assurance that clients will be properly looked after for the future by highly regarded professionals.

“This is the first business that is in a position to provide a full advice and service-based platform proposition to any IFA who is uncertain as to what to do under RDR.”

RDR

The Institute of Financial Services raised concerns that JP Morgan Asset Management’s gap-fill sessions do not adequately cover the necessary pensions knowledge.

A spokesman for the IFS said the accredited body had informed JPMAM of concerns related to its gap-fill sessions.

He said: “If you sat DipFA, the JPMorgan gap-fill does not cover the knowledge gaps for pensions. If you were the adviser sitting in that room you could come to us for a free gap-fill tool to cover that area. JPMorgan is aware of the situation.”

Regulation

Lawyers for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme have been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner’s Office for sharing details of all advisers it was chasing in Keydata claims.

A letter from the ICO, seen by Financial Adviser, showed London law firm Herbert Smith, which has distributed more than 600 claims over Keydata, had breached the first principle of the Data Protection Act.

The letter, sent in response to an adviser’s complaint about details being shared, said the firm had assured the ICO that it would not happen again, and therefore no further regulatory action would be taken.

The ICO said: “We believe that steps could and should behave been taken to remove the client information, which was not applicable to that specific organisation, before it was sent out. We have already written to Herbert Smith and informed them of a breach of the first principle. I will write to them again informing them of your specific complaint

“However, the commissioner has decided that further regulatory action is not required at this time. When deciding whether regulatory action is appropriate, we take into account the organisation’s general record of compliance within the DPA.”

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