Trail commission spat

On Saturday 10 September 2011 Money Box broadcast an item about a new service which offered people the chance to get the trail commission paid to their IFA paid to them instead - less a 20% handling fee.

In my introduction to the item I said

"If you’ve bought a pension or investment in the last 20 years or so, the chances are a small amount of your savings drips out of your pot and into your financial adviser’s bank account every year. It’s called “trail” commission and is one of the industry’s best kept secrets - typically around 0.5% a year, but can be three times that much, and over the years it can reduce the value of your investment by thousands of pounds."

That phrase 'one of the industry's best kept secrets' aroused the ire of independent financial adviser Neil Liversidge MD of West Riding Personal Financial Solutions. On Saturday evening he wrote a strong letter of complaint to me. I replied to him on Sunday 11 September. Then on Monday he made his original letter open and it was published online by the trade periodical Money Marketing. He also released my reply to some journalists and it too was published or summarised online. I drafted a more considered public reply to Neil which was published by Money Marketing later on Monday 12 September.

That correspondence together with comments made by readers and further correspondence is collected here.

The original Money Box programme which sparked it all off

My original private reply to Neil Liversidge dated 11 September 2011

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