Monthly Archives: August 2012

31Aug 12

The Wealth Net – RDR is ‘The Next Financial Scandal Waiting to Happen’

More coverage of Gina Miller’s warning that the Retail Distribution Review will fail to provide the transparency it was designed to introduce.

See the full article here: Wealth Net RDR 

Posted By: True and Fair, 4:27 pm

30Aug 12

IFA Online – RDR the ‘Next Financial Scandal Waiting to Happen’

True and Fair’s Gina Miller warns how the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) could alienate millions of investors.

Read the full article on the IFA Online.

Posted By: True and Fair, 3:34 pm

24Aug 12

Financial Times – ‘ABI Calls for Transparency on Pensions Charges’

An article calling for greater transparency on pensions charges, with comments from the True and Fair Campaign’s Gina Miller.

Read the full article here. N.B. Please note that a free registration is required to read the article.

Posted By: True and Fair, 11:52 am

23Aug 12

Statement on ABI Letter on Pension Charges

Commenting on The Association of British Insurers’ plans to make pension charges more transparent, Gina Miller, who spearheads the True and Fair Campaign said:

 

“We welcome the ABI’s four-point plan to make pension charges clearer to consumers. There needs to be one single number which gives total transparency on all dealing costs and fees.  Without this consumers will continue to be misled about the true cost of charges and fees to their pensions and investments.  The ABI is right to point out that addressing this is particularly important as auto-enrolement comes into place later this year.

 

“Over the last seven months the True and Fair Campaign has been calling for a new Code of Conduct that would give consumers 100% transparency on all costs and management fees and full disclosure on where funds are invested. We are pleased to see increasing support within the industry for this cause, but decisive action is long overdue.

 

“Over the course of a lifetime a small difference in pension fees and charges can make an enormous difference to the size of a pension pot. The various hidden costs including dealing costs will often amount to 1% pa. That may not sound much but someone saving £400 per year for 25 years, i.e. a total of £10,000 would be £3,217 better off if by saving 1% pa their investments grew by just 6% pa rather than 5% pa. Hidden fees, like administration costs and dealing fees can take a significant chunk out of the investment – 32% in this example. A lack of transparency means that more often than not people are unaware of the true cost and the impact that will have on the money they get in their pocket.

 

“The FSA and government need to urgently bring in change and impose transparency across the industry to restore trust and honesty. Without this, millions of people are likely to opt out of their pension, a scenario that could have devastating consequences in the long term.”

Posted By: True and Fair, 4:56 pm

03Aug 12

Response to the announcement that the FSA is to investigate financial losses from Absolute Return Funds

Alan Miller - True and Fair Campaign

Responding to the announcement that the FSA is to investigate financial losses from Absolute Return Funds, Alan Miller, co-founder and CIO at investment manager SCM Private states:

 

“We have been calling for the mis-labelling of Absolute Return funds to be investigated for the past two years and we are delighted that the FSA has finally started to address this.
“The current IMA label does little to avoid mis-leading consumers and it claims that Absolute Return funds will aim to achieve positive 12 monthly returns in ALL market conditions. This is yet another example of how the IMA has been ignoring consumers’ best interests and does little to encourage consumer confidence in the products they are buying.

 

“Absolute Return funds are not transparent, net return figures conceal a host of fees and performance charges that prevent investors from making informed decisions. We doubt absolute return investors really understand how the combination of high performance fees and other costs savage their investments. Research undertaken by SCM Private as far back as December 2009 showed that up to 55% of underlying performance from Absolute Return funds can be extracted through various fees and charges.
“The financial services industry continues to be hit by accusations of mis-selling, mal-practice and corrupt behaviour. It is high-time that the industry ends these self-serving anomalies and puts transparency and consumer protection at the heart of everything it does. That is why SCM Private launched the True and Fair campaign, calling for 100% transparency on fund fees and charges, as well as full disclosure on holdings.

 

“As we approach the introduction of RDR, it is absolutely critical that investment products are accurately classified to ensure that consumers understand the risks, fees and charges and are not misled, by a blatantly misleading objective, into buying products in the belief that their original investment is protected.  Although the IMA conceded that fund labels need addressing at the beginning of 2012 no action has yet been taken.  The FSA needs to urgently address the issue of fund labelling and ensure these critical powers are given to a consumer-focused, independent body, not left with the IMA.”

Posted By: True and Fair, 1:37 pm