Re: the move by Sesame to close its network to wealth firms: this move has no doubt also been influenced by the fact that level 4 is a hurdle that many in the network could not (or would not) breach.
Investment advice meant charging fees, and therefore the network lost control of cashflow, which in turn raised network fees, which then led to network competition or a migration of the ablest to DA. The rump flogged life cover and anything else that still allowed commission.
Notwithstanding the fact that there are a minority of excellent advisers in networks, in the main they have been the depository for lower standards.
They survived (and indeed prospered in the past) by frightening those who did not have the confidence to engage directly with regulation, who did not feel they could manage obtaining their own PII, and erroneously imagined that the network would protect them from any and all unpleasant eventualities. Many lived in the false glow of imagining that they were running their own business. Those who eventually did pluck up the courage to go direct wondered why they did not make the move years ago – as some correspondents have already testified.
Consultant, HA7 Consulting, Stanmore, Middlesex