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Angry advisers get caught in RMAR traffic

The FSA’s website is buckling under the volume of IFAs filing their retail mediation activity returns at the last minute.

Despite the regulator upgra-ding the system last month, IFAs have complained to Money Marketing that the FSA’s online RMAR application system crashed last Thursday afternoon, the day before the Friday deadline.

The continuing failure of the system to cope with high volumes of traffic means that IFAs filing their returns at the last minute risk missing their deadline and being hit with a 250 fine.

The FSA rejects reports that the online system keeps crashing but admits that, despite boosting its capacity, it still struggles when too many advisers log on to the system at the same time. But the regulator says it has no official stance on waiving fines for firms that fail to meet the deadline bec-ause of system failure.

Aifa director general Chris Cummings, who is compiling a dossier on problems that its members are having with RMAR, says: “We are concerned about continuing reports from members that the system is going offline at peak times. Any firm having problems, let us know.”

The McCroddan Partnership managing director Michael McCroddan says: “This is making our lives very difficult. Next time, I am going to file my returns earlier.”

But FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: “Inevitably, there is a slowdown if a load of advisers upload at the same time. Otherwise, the system is working well after the earlier technical problems.”

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