From Kevin CarrThe report into the selling of life insurance published by Consumer Intelligence is clearly drawn up to further the cause of Consumer Intelligence’s main clients, the non-advising protection sellers such as Tesco, Direct Line and many others. I believe this report to be both contradictory and flawed in its understanding of the market. For example, the report misses several important points such as the fact that consumers automatically lose their right to seek redress from the Financial Ombudsman when they buy without advice. How did the report miss this? If 125 mystery shoppers couldn’t tell, how does the FSA expect consumers to know? This is the real issue consumers should be warned about. Also, the report naively focuses on price but not value for money. There’s little point saving 50p a month if you buy the wrong policy, or if 40% of the sum assured is taken in Inheritance Tax. By applying the principles of car insurance to life insurance we believe the report does readers no favours. Life insurance is not like car insurance. The purchase of car insurance is compulsory and your car won’t arrive with 40% missing because of taxation. The report misses the point that making a buying mistake in protection is far worse than any other area of financial services, first because the emotional consequences involve ill health or death, second because the sums assured are often far greater and third because, unlike any other financial services product, if you make a mistake you can switch but in protection when you realise the mistake it’s too late to switch. Although LifeSearch is frequently praised in the report, the few seeming criticisms of us are mostly examples of exemplary individual advice which should be praised and would have been if the researchers understood the market. Yes, we often tried to recommend other policies. This is because no adviser should sell a customer an unsuitable product just because they ask for it. The report is contradictory on this matter. For example, it takes the FSA example of measuring how much cover is needed by looking at income but the report does not take account of Family Income Benefit. I wonder why. Perhaps it’s because the report was commissioned by non-advisers who sell only the most profitable products and not the most suitable. Regarding price, our price promise is cast iron and has been for the seven years since we launched. Find a better quote and we will match it. But far more importantly you will have the right product, in trust if needs be, with the added support of LifeSearch’s counselling service, which no non-advisers provide. Somehow, even though this service is promoted in every pack, the report missed this as well. Again, I wonder why. The report is an attempt by the huge profit-making non-advisers to devalue advice in a market they wish to commoditise and dominate, to the detriment of consumers.
Moneyquest, the telephone and online mortgage, insurance and loan brokers, appointed Angus McSween as its first chairman.McSween, chief executive officer of web security company Iomart and current holder of the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for Business, will oversee Moneyquests two-year expansion plan and drive towards AIM listing.Moneyquest revealed the appointment at its 16th birthday […]
Bank of Ireland today announced changes to its senior management team. It has promoted Des Crowley from chief executive of retail financial services Ireland to chief executive of UK financial services. Richie Boucher, currently chief executive in corporate banking, will replace Crowley as chief executive of RFSI and will also join the group executive committee.These […]
The government is to invest over 32m in developing ways to tackle homelessness. The Homelessness Innovation Fund is part of the government’s strategy to cut the number of households in temporary accommodation by 50% by 2010. Funded schemes across England are expected to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation by 4,000 and prevent […]
The Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance has avoided criminal charges and a hefty fine after failing to file its annual return. This was due on September 15 after which it had 28 days (until October 13) to file it. Failing to file an annual return is a criminal offence and leaves companies at risk of prosecution […]
Thomas Smith, manager of the Neptune Latin America Fund Latin American equities have performed strongly so far in 2016, returning 27 per cent in sterling terms. Much of this move has been driven by newsflow from Brazil, with markets reacting positively to the government voting to impeach President Dilma Rousseff and on the hope of […]
News and expert analysis straight to your inboxSign up