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Aegon's problems and inducement concerns: the week in news

Aegon's problems and inducement concerns: the week in news

After months of build up the big day is finally here, as thousands flock together tomorrow to watch this set piece event. But enough about the FA Cup final.

For those of you who are fed up about news of the Royal Wedding (that other small scale event taking place this weekend), then it's time for the week in news. We haven't mentioned it once (promise).

1) Conference clarification from the FCA

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Red tape around finance advice is tricky enough, so it is always good to see some of its being scrapped for a change. The Financial Conduct Authority is scrapping guidance relating to inducements and conflicts of interest in retail investment advice, which it stated has been superseded by the introduction of Mifid II earlier this year.

The news comes with some useful clarification for advisers, who had asked how the new rules on inducements and adviser charging apply to various scenarios and industry practices, particularly in the field of conferences and hospitality.

In response, the FCA stated: "These new rules do not prevent firms from organising or attending conferences, providing that their actions comply with applicable rules.

"We have amended our restrictions on the payments which can be received by firms providing investment advice to retail clients in the UK to apply in connection with firms' business of advising.”

The regulator will produce no more guidance on this issue, so that’s your lot, folks.

2) At last, something more to complain about

It’s a good week for complainers, especially those Waspi women - at least if you’re judging volume as a measure of likely success.

This group of women are campaigning against the way the state pension age was equalised and launched a campaign called Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi).

Kit Malthouse, minister for family support, said this week the Department for Work & Pensions had 2,841 complaints about the equalisation of the state pension age in the pipeline, at various stages of the process.

He also said the examiner has a dedicated team of three investigation case managers examining this group of complaints.

Meanwhile, over at the Pensions Ombudsman, there’s a rap over the knuckles for the complaint handlers involved in the case of Clare Knight.

The ombudsman has admitted errors in its handling of her case, concerning an offshore property scheme investment, after leaving her waiting for months before informing her it had lost vital parts of her complaint.

Ms Knight is not alone. In the last year the body received 58 complaints, mainly about delays and its processes, of which 51 were resolved.

3) Hammond seeks to reassure sector on post Brexit performance

In tough times, the reassuring voice of Spreadsheet Phil may not always be enough to steady the ship, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer is hoping that his words on the UK’s post-Brexit place in the world will provide calm.

On a visit to Halifax and Edinburgh this week he said the UK will remain a world leader in financial services after it leaves the European Union.