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Blunder by FSA costs Sesame IFAs 12 a week

Sesame advisers face a 2.5m bill from the FSA after the regulator refused to take responsibility for undercharging the network earlier this year.

The company was undercharged on its 2004/05 fees in August and has now admitted defeat in its battle to get the FSA to write off the 2.5m by persuading it to take liability for its error.

The network says it has no option but to pass on this cost to its 3,782 members and is offering a weekly repayment scheme, which will cost advisers around 12 a week. All RIs who were network members on December 31, 2003 will be affected.

The initial bills for 2004/05 were sent out for 1,442 for each fully authorised RI, which indicated there was no increase on the previous year but as the fees had risen, Sesame was then presented with another invoice.

The FSA says it acknowledges it made an error in the billing for this period and says it has apologised to Sesame and it claims that the two organisations have successfully reached an amicable solution.

But Sesame commercial director Charles Bryant says: “This is a disappointing outcome. We are trying to make this as reasonable a burden as possible by offering a broad choice on repayment options.”

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