Advisers are continuing to report serious problems when submitting their Gabriel reports to the FCA, with one firm calling for a boycott of part of the electronic system until the issues are resolved.
Kingston Independent Financial Advisers company secretary Sam Caunt has written to the FCA several times raising problems with Gabriel’s retail mediation activities return section K, which covers adviser charging, but has yet to receive a response.
He says: “This boycott is coming from someone who is too scared to park on a double yellow, so to say we will not provide the FCA with information, well, you can tell how hacked off we are.”
“A client might ask us something which requires work from several members of staff at varying rates, say an adviser and a paraplanner, but we have to supply a representative hourly rate. We have to concoct it and provide a best guess,” he says.
Caunt worked with the Association of Professional Financial Advisers to raise the issue during a 2011 FSA consultation on Gabriel.
Apfa senior technical adviser Linda Smith says the association continues to collect evidence about problems with section K and will raise them with the FCA.
She says: “Firms that do not supply the information would face the consequences including fines so I am not sure we would go as far as supporting a boycott.”
Wealth and Tax Management financial planning director Tony Byrne says: “I can understand why people find this so frustrating and the FCA has to get involved and sort it out. Some of the questions are virtually impossible and you have to use your best judgement because you either comply or die. ”
An FCA spokesman says: We will be responding to this letter in due course. All authorised firms must complete and return their RMAR and, where firms have questions, we are always willing to assist.”