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Critically ill IFA lobbies Sants on RDR exams

A terminally ill IFA has appealed to FSA chief executive Hector Sants for special dispensation from QCF level four exams after the regulator confirmed it can grant exemptions for ill or disabled IFAs.

Lighthouse Financial Advice financial planning consultant Cliff Linsdell has been an IFA for more than 40 years and was told by his oncologist that the stress of exams could affect his health.

Linsdell first requested special dispensation in February 2010 from the retail distribution review qualification requirements and was told to contact the FSA in 12 months time. When he did so in March this year, the FSA customer contact centre told him he was required to pass the qualification.

Money Marketing took up his case with the FSA last week. An FSA spokeswoman said advisers can apply for a waiver where they believe a rule would be “unduly burdensome”.

But when asked this week whether Linsdell would qualify for the waiver, the FSA said he would have to apply again, and added that it does not comment on individual cases.

In his letter to Sants, dated March 25, Linsdell says: “I am informed by my oncologist that undue stress will hasten my demise and I am writing to you directly to seek dispensation from the stress of these exams.”

Linsdell writes that he seeks clarification from Sants not just for himself but also for other severely ill or disabled IFAs.

He says: “I would like to know that at the end of 2012, assuming I am still alive, I can continue looking after my clients, who in turn also look after me.”



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