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Confusion over status of Network 300 firms

Network 300 members who sign up with Thinc are being offered the choice of joining its multi-tie operation, mortgage arm or becoming a fee-based financial planner.

To date, none of the 287 RIs in the network has made a decision on whether to join Thinc. Advisers can join Thinc Financial Planning until general insurance regulation starts on January 15 for their pipe-line business, after which they must elect one of the three options. Those who want to operate in the loan market can join Thinc Mortgage Solutions.

But some members are confused as to where they stand on authorisation. Once the FSA removes authorisation from Network 300, a member transacting new business will lose authorisation unless they are signed up to Thinc or another operation.

LIA head of public affairs John Ellis says: “The FSA needs to make it clear the authorisation status or lack of it, otherwise some will be trading illegally. They are des-perate for some guidance.”

Thinc chief operating officer Simon Chamberlain says: “Our models have been very clear and from January 15, everyone has to make a decision as to which option they take if they want to stay with us.”

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