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Adviser hits back after FSA ban

A Suffolk financial adviser has defended himself after the FSA issued a prohibition order restricting his ability to conduct mortgage business.

The regulator said the conduct of Primedale Financial Services director Jonathan Hardie had fallen short of expected standards.

Following an investigation, the FSA found Hardie had not properly investigated almost 400 cases of alleged endowment misselling over a period of five years.

The order means that Hardie is restricted in the supervision and compliance of mortgage business. His other roles as a financial adviser are unaffected.

Hardie says the firm has been inspected in the past and found to have an exemplary record.

In a statement, Hardie says: “We undertook the endowment complaint review in a diligent and thorough way and were not aware of any problems in this aspect.

“The FSA made a regulatory visit in May 2005 and reported back to us in August 2005 with its findings and illustrated some shortcomings in the handling of endowment complaints.

“We immediately set about addressing the issues and followed the recommendations set out by the FSA.

“It was somewhat of a surprise that in October 2007 the FSA once again looked into our handling of the endowment complaints. As expected, it drew the same conclusions as the original supervisory visit and it was as a result of this second investigation that the FSA has taken the action it has. No action was taken after the first regulatory visit, yet the findings were identical and related to the same period.

“The censure imposed by the FSA reflects on my ability to supervise and attend to compliance matters rather than my ability to act as an adviser.”

The order against Hardie does not affect Primedale Residential, a separate estate agency and financial advisory business based in the Ipswich area.


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