IFA firm Informed Choice has resurrected its lobbying campaign to reform Financial Services Compensation Scheme funding and is organising a “day of action” next week to highlight the current broken model.
The FSCS Levy Action Group was formed by Informed Choice last February after some advisers saw huge increases in their FSCS bills.
An open letter and petition to FSA chief executive Hector Sants and Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban generated 678 signatures calling for urgent reform of the FSCS funding model.
This year the group is centering its lobbying efforts on a “day of action” on April 25, as Informed Choice says this is the day most interim levies are paid.
Investment advisers have been hit with a £60m interim FSCS levy for 2011/13, to cover the cost of firm collapses including MF Global Keydata, CF Arch cru and Wills and Co.
The campaign is calling for better categorisation of firms within the FSCS funding model.
The current system issues levies based on what sub-class firms fall into, such as investment intermediation and investment fund management. However the way the sub-classes are defined has meant the collapse of providers and stockbrokers has fallen on the investment intermediation sub-class.
The campaign is also aiming to raise awareness among consumers that the FSCS is funded by the industry, and that consumers ultimately pay the cost through charges.
Advisers can pledge their support by visiting the FSCS Levy Action Group website on April 25 to add their name, email address and post code. This will send an automatic open letter to Hoban via email.
Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford (pictured) is aiming to send at least 1,000 emails to Mark Hoban and to get the hashtag #HelpUsHoban trending on Twitter.
Bamford says: “It is important we raise awareness about this issue and do what we can. It is becoming such a ridiculous burden on business owners and the demands on the FSCS just keep on coming.
“It is an unstoppable force and every time a firm collapses we think ‘there goes another £1,000’. The idea is to raise awareness and get more people on side.”