The FSA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee has overturned the regulator’s decision to deny reauthorisation to a former Park Row adviser.
Money Marketing understands the adviser, who does not want to be named, must now reapply for authorisation and the FSA cannot take into account its previous concerns in considering the application.
Money Marketing also understands that at least 20 former Park Row advisers are still waiting to gain FSA authorisation more than a year since they first applied to be reauthorised. These IFAs have been unable to advise their clients in the interim period.
Another ex-Park Row adviser, who does not wish to be named, received authorisation from the FSA last week, days before his RDC hearing was due to be held.
He has so far spent £10,000 in legal fees fighting his case. He says: “The FSA is a bully. I have had to remortgage my home to survive as well as pay off four hard-working guys and endure a torrent of abuse and unfounded and unwarranted allegations from the FSA.”
The RDC hears appeals against enforcement, authorisation issues and supervisory decisions that are of “material significance for the firms and individuals”.
The RDC is a committee of the FSA board and reports directly to the board.
Foot Anstey Solicitors associate Alan Hughes says he knows of three advisers who are unconnected to Park Row that have taken authorisation cases to the RDC and won.
He says: “It almost seems like the FSA is bullying people by withholding authorisation. But if advisers stick to their guns and go to the RDC, they can be successful. In my experience, the RDC, which has the choice of taking away someone’s livelihood or not, has to be convinced there is something seriously wrong to take away an adviser’s authorisation.”
The FSA refused to comment on individual cases.