Financial Services Unplugged with Tom McPhail

Financial Services Unplugged with Tom McPhail

The lang cat‘s Tom McPhail talks with industry experts and insiders about pensions and investments, regulation, technology, politics and policy-making . Grown-up financial services insights for people who work here. Tom is one of the industry‘s leading experts on pensions and retirement for over 20 years and former Head of Policy for the FTSE100 firm Hargreaves Lansdown. You can also find him on Twitter as @pensionsmonkey

Episodes

August 3, 2022 35 min

This is the big one, clear the diary, wrap a wet towel round your head and get to grips with the Consumer Duty. In this episode, Mike Barrett and I discuss the key challenges and how firms can survive and thrive in this new world order.

Links:

PS22/9: A new Consumer Duty (fca.org.uk)

FG22/5: Final non-Handbook Guidance for firms on the Consumer Duty (fca.org.uk)

 

 

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If you want a perspective on UK pension provision and policy from someone who has spent time working on other pension systems around the world, Jamie Jenkins from Royal London is your man. We talk here mostly about UK pensions but with some interesting insights from others' experieneces.

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July 6, 2022 41 min

Many in the industry, myself included, have worried the advice/guidance boundary prevents businesses from helping their customers. With the help of Ian Beestin of Money Alive and Philip Hodges of Guiide, this episode explores how Guidance can in fact work within the current framework.

Guiide the Happy Retirement Designer

Risk Management Via Video Engagement - Money Alive

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Annuities have fallen out of fashion in recent years; given their obvious efficiency and utility, this begs the question, how and when will they be rehabilitated. Mark Ormston of Retirement Line gives us his perspective.

www.retirementline.co.uk

Retirement income market data 2020/21 | FCA

Retirement income market study | FCA

Retirement Outcomes Review | FCA

 

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June 21, 2022 32 min

In this episode, Tom talks about the equity release market and how it fits with later life financial planning. He also dissects recent publications, from the FCA/TPR on the pensions consumer journey and from the DWP on helping savers understand their pension choices

HOUSE RULES - the lang cat (langcatfinancial.co.uk)

FS22/3: Pensions consumer journey | FCA

Helping savers understand their pension choices - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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From pension freedoms, through workplace pensions to the new engagement season advocated by the Pensions Minister, better consumer engagement on pensions is a vital element of delivering better retirement outcomes.

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Pension Credit is money the government struggles to give away. Henry Tapper of Age Wage and I talk through the issues. We also get onto Value For Money, retirement income and CDC schemes.

Henry’s blog: Henry Tapper

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May 30, 2022 25 min

A quick review of current policy initiatives from the FCA, DWP and HM Treasury suggests we may not have a lot of time for summer holidays this year.

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May 24, 2022 45 min

Along with Andrew Tully and Paul Speight of Canada Life, I try to make some sense of the pension tax allowances, the state pension and almost inevitably, the advice/guidance boundary.

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Caroline Hopper and I talk about what ESG looks like from a member perspective and how should it be communicated. We also discuss how it fits into the broader picture of member engagement and fraud prevention.

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OK, so they’d probably be a bit funnier than us two, but Ralph Jackson of Lansons has been doing policy making on behalf of financial services firms since before I even knew it was a thing. He has a wealth of knowledge and insight about how the system works and how firms engage with political change.

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The state pension age is being reviewed so I’ve put together some facts, figures and reflections on our state pension and why the whole mess is Bismarck’s fault. I've included a comparison with how the French do it. I’ve also looked at the Government’s response to the DWP Committee’s report on pension freedoms and what it tells us about government policy. 

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The lang cat’s own ace data and insights analyst Steve Nelson, and antipodean refugee turned Citywire journalist James Fitzgerald talk through what’s happening in the world of retail investment platforms. Also, why Transact is the Sergei Bubka of platform pricing.

If you want to know more about the lang cat's research into the platform market, head over here

https://langcatfinancial.co.uk/publications/state-of-the-platform-nati...

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April 26, 2022 39 min

The ABI is busy, on auto enrolment, pension engagement, advice and guidance, social care, small pots, dashboards, retirement income guidance and more; here’s an update on what’s going on.

PS, I got the mic setting wrong on this one so the sound quality is a bit poor, sorry.

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April 20, 2022 31 min

After last week's rant about what's wrong with pensions, an attempt this week to suggest some solutions, including a couple of slightly non-conformist ideas about the regulatory architecture and pensions tax relief

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April 14, 2022 28 min

Not the definitive list of problems but a walk through some of the key pension policy issues that are on my mind, including pension freedom and taxation, Value For Money and Consumer Duty, the Statement Season that isn’t, the lack of joined-up-ness on the Stronger Nudge and the Treasury’s plans for regulatory reform. If you have any feedback on this episode, you can DM me @pensionsmonkey

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Independent pensions consultant John Ralfe doesn't pull his punches as he talks through the issues, myths and misunderstandings about the UK's largest funded defined benefit pension scheme. 

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Few individuals or organisations involved come out of this looking good. Philippa Hann of Clarke Wilmott gives an excellent explanation of what's been happening at British Steel; we also talk about some of the persistent flaws in the regulatory regime, including  Professional Indemnity insurance and the regulation of Appointed Representatives. 

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Now the dust has settled, Rachel Vahey from AJ Bell talks about the Spring Statement and what it means from the perspective of the financial services industry. We also talk about the boundary between advice and guidance and what can be done to meet the needs of consumers.

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March 29, 2022 39 min

The lang cat's own Steve Nelson and Lisa Johnstone from VWM Wealth Planning talk about the state of financial advice, the world of financial advisers, the FCA and fintech. A wide-ranging chat that highlights some of they key challenges facing the industry today.

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