Advisers have reacted angrily to the FCA’s rejection of calls to compensate advisers who have been overcharged on their fees due to an “anomaly” in the current system.
In November Money Marketing revealed the FCA fee block containing most advisers, A13, has been overcharged by £118m over the past five years and led calls for the fee block to be compensated.
The FCA said in a consultation paper on regulatory fees and levies for 2014/15, published in October, that an “anomaly” in the system means A13 advisers – those who do not hold client money – have been paying a higher fee per £1,000 of income than firms in A12, a separate fee block for advisers, dealers and brokers who hold client money.
But at a press conference this week, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said: “The fact there may have been a mistake is quite different to saying there was an overpayment and a need for an adjustment the following year.
“So I do not think there should be any adjustment, but if there was we would end up with a ridiculous position where we have to charge the extra from a different fee block, which would get very messy.”
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “I am struggling to see the difference between a mistake and an overpayment. It is incumbent on the FCA to take a proper look at this.”
Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “It might not seem a lot of money to Wheatley, but to advisers it is a significant amount and we want to see that clawed back. Clearly this was an overpayment.”
Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner Aj Somal says: “This seems to be double standards. If a mistake has been identified it needs to be rectified.”