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Banned Ucis adviser turns Ucis claims chaser

FSA Skyview 480

A former adviser banned by the FSA for promoting an unregulated collective investment scheme without carrying out proper due diligence is now working for a claims management firm that handles Ucis misselling cases.

MNFA director Richard Rhys was banned from the industry on July 27 for wrongly concluding the scheme he was recommending to clients was not a Ucis. He therefore failed to comply with Ucis promotion rules, including ensuring clients were sophisticated investors.

An update to the FSA register last week says: “Rhys incompetently made misleading statements to investors and failed to take any steps to ensure the suitability of advice to customers.”

The FSA register shows that Rhys left MNFA in January 2009.

Rhys joined claims management company Rebus Investment Solutions in 2010, which specialises in misselling claims relating to “complex investment schemes”, including Ucis.

The company’s website says: “As well as the accountancy and legal experts you would expect, we also use the services of someone who sold these products for a living. This is a true case of poacher turned gamekeeper, and it has enabled us to get quickly to the nub of the problem for many clients.”

A Rebus spokesman says: “On joining the Rebus team, Richard made the company fully aware of his background and the outstanding issues with the FSA.

“At all times in his dealings with or on behalf of our clients, Richard has acted with integrity, diligence, and in the best interests of the client.”

Rhys declined to comment until the FSA publishes its final notice.

Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “Rhys may argue he may as well help people pursue claims but I find it a bit distasteful.”


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There are 19 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is he going to chase claims against himself?

    This sums up the standard of and the levels that claims management companies will stoop to!

    Its like someone poisoning you and then offering to work in the hospital that is treating you!

  2. Is this a case of the blind leading the blind?

  3. what a thoroughly odious individual

  4. Philip Milton-get off your self righteous high horse!
    remarks like this show your lack of ability to recognise that people have a right to work, and that experience may well prove profitable and helpful to others.
    The whole issue of UCIS is a mess, compounded by the FSA and others, who legitimately sold (authorised)it before we were hit by retrospective matters.

  5. Its a pity he didn’t act with integrity, diligence, and in the best interests of his clients when he was selling (advising) these products. Thankfully we are getting rid of these type of people slowly but surely.

  6. Justin Credible 16th August 2012 at 9:10 am

    I have come across a mortgage broker who went bust in 2008. Folded the firm and then from the same office contacted all his old clients to whom he sold PPI and encouraged them to claim. I am sure that I am far from alone. Furthermore I bet he could pass an ethics exam if he had to – he just avoided the expense of doing so!

  7. Anonymous 8.49 anonymous 8.57.
    Ridiculous statements showing your complete lack of understanding of what goes on in the world.
    I recall many self righteous IFAs slagging off direct sales people-only it turns out they were once direct sales people!!
    He who is without sin ,cast the first stone!!

  8. Rhys was listed as a Director of the company back in June 2009.

    The company was originally set up only a month before all of Rhys regulated activities ceased as Netsound Ltd – although Rhys wasn’t a director at this point. There was a change of name a month later. It then changed it’s name to Highgrove Taxation Strategies a few months later before ultimately becoming Rebus.

    There is a striking similarity between, the regulated firms that Rhys was associated with and this company.

    Looking at their accounts, Rebus Investment Solutions Ltd seems to be losing a fair bit of money. There was another company set up last month by Alastair McEwan – Rebus Investment Group Ltd.

  9. As long as the client is the primary concern under FSA TCF rules, where is the problem. Banks recruit ex FSA employees so we have a two tier system or something?

  10. Something really has to be done about the ambulance chasing fraternity. No wonder PI Insurers are running for the hills. These people are not just dealing with complaints they manufacture them.
    Rebus do not bother to try and be accurate in their complaints they just come out with the same nonsense in each letter. Every complaint is followed up with a data disclosure notice meaning that all files have to be handed over for the price of a tenner and then they look for what can be complained about. All at the expense of the adviser. All because they have a morally bankrupt client from the “City” who has lost some money on a tax scam and now feels he was not experienced enough to know what he was doing. No doubt they will be recruiting all the ex-News of the World journalists next.

  11. Funniest article I’ve read in ages.

  12. Justin Credible 16th August 2012 at 9:29 am

    Many people were missold these products some, I am sure, were not. There will not be many but I wonder how many CMCs across the board (PPI et al) have turned around to claimants and told them that having reviewed the file it would appear that the sale was legitimate? Even fewer I would wager. As for this guy, if he couldn’t recommend UCIS to the correct people in the first place, what makes him such an expert now? From where has he miraculously gained this knowledge? I imagine his CPD log is pretty empty since he was deauthorised (if it had anything in it then) – so what liittle knowledge he did have is wonderously out of date too. I am afraid that CMCs have no moral high ground whatsoever, they do ‘help’ people who were genuinely missold but at the same time take a fee from people who do not need their services in the first place, you don’t need a CMC to complain to a company or to approach the FSCS or FOS.

  13. “At all times in his dealings with or on behalf of our clients, Richard has acted with integrity, diligence, and in the best interests of the client.”

    Pity he didn’t do that when he put his clients into UCIS wihout understanding them then!

    And Rebus has recently had to remove a claim on its website that if an Ombudsman recommends an award over £150K a firm is legally obliged to pay it following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority because it is untrue.

    So I wonder exactly how Rebus defines “Integrity” and “Diligent”.

  14. Anonymous | 16 Aug 2012 9:13 am

    Having been in the ‘industry’ for years in many roles (never direct sales by the way) as well as working in manual jobs I do know how the world works.

    Just because something goes on in the world doesnt make it acceptable – murder happens but I am pretty sure it isnt acceptable.

  15. Anonymous | 16 Aug 2012 9:20, you are right on the money with your comments. Bankers getting out the worlds smallest violin after their aggressive tax planning doesn’t work in their favour, egged along by low-life like Richard Rhys and his other cronies. One of his colleagues Alistair McEwan even peddling their self-righteous hypocrisy in The Times a few weeks ago (June 25th). Now i see they are having to withdraw their misleading adverts!!

  16. Lets ask MAS what they advise?
    As for all you ‘mudslingers’ I hope you get your rewards one of these days-self righteous gits!!

  17. Richard Rhys acting with integrity, diligence, and in the best interests of the client? Now I have seen it all…

  18. I never met Richard Rhys but his regulatory history would at least give me a reservation or two about his ethics and/or competence – and, given those reservations, I’m not sure I’d feel much confidence in the reliability of his claims ‘assessments’

    I wonder if his employer takes a cut of any settlement. What would you call that, when someone’s fee is a percentage of a successful transaction? I’m sure there’s a word for that.

    Richard would know, I dare say

  19. On 27 July 2012 the FSA prohibited Mr Rhys from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person, or exempt professional firm on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person in that he lacks competence and capability. Mr Rhys was a director of MNFA Limited, on behalf of which he marketed and promoted an unregulated collective investment scheme (“UCIS”), without conducting the proper due diligence expected of IFAs. This led him to conclude, wrongly, that the scheme was not a UCIS, which in turn resulted in a failure to comply with the statutory and regulatory standards applicable to the promotion of a UCIS. Mr Rhys incompetently made misleading statements to investors and failed to take any steps to ensure the suitability of advice to customers

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