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Aifa warns of misleading claims over passporting

Aifa is warning advisers to be wary of firms making “misleading” claims over passporting into the UK and avoiding the RDR.

Under passporting rules, advice firms based in other EU member states can either set up a UK branch or offer cross-border services in the UK via the phone or internet. UK branches of EU firms must meet UK conduct of business rules but cross-border services only have to meet the requirements in their home state.

Ireland-based Wellington Court Financial Planning’s website, ifapassporting.co.uk, claims advisers can passport into the UK to “continue offering advice to consumers that may otherwise be penalised by the RDR”.

Aifa policy director Chris Hannant says: “It is misleading to say you can avoid the RDR by being regulated somewhere else.”

An FSA spokesman says: “A firm is not permitted to operate on a cross-border services basis in the UK for the purpose of evading the standards here.”

Wellington Court Financial Planning refused to comment.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. If the IFA becomes regulated in the ‘EU’, they should be able to operate in th UK. I applaud this initiative to destroy the RDR and all it’s lunacy after all in the spirit of things, the regulator has tried to destroy the IFA, soft touch regulate the banks to increase their stranglehold on the financial markets and then leave to join them with huge (reward for services rendered) salaries. So ‘back door’ regulation on more favourable terms sounds just as sneaky as the FSA overlords.

  2. Well, Anon 11.23.

    Most of us will NOT applaud this sort of idea because 1) you can’t offer advice on most forms of pensions planning under a “passport” and 2) your clients wouldn’t have the benefit of FSCS protection and 3) the commission ban will still be in place (providers are closing down their commission systems to everyone and 4) to try to avoid RDR breaks the spirit of the law that all other IFAs are going to adhere to – whether they agree with it or not and 5) Ireland (for instance) has it’s own regulations and rules – which are only going to get stricter due to incoming EU legislation.

    Passporting is a non-starter for most firms.

  3. Christopher Lean 8th June 2012 at 1:16 pm

    And what about all the offshore salesmen that offer SIPPs. What is the rule about this?

    Is the transfer of a pension into a SIPP , by a passported firm that does not have FSA permissions for Transfers and Opt Outs, allowed?

  4. IFA @ 11:58 from 11:23
    I think you missed the sarcasm in my post and my pointing out that the FSA are the blaggards in all of this and how YOU the IFA in the UK will have your hands tied behind your back whilst the financial market will be exploited by EU financial services and the perpetrators – the FSA hierarchy – have done a ‘hit & run’, feathering their own nests in the process. But sure, be the lemming, race over the cliff edge without a fight. Bye!

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