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Day of action FSCS campaign receives over 1,400 signatures

Informed Choice’s day of action campaign for a fairer Financial Services Compensation Scheme received 1,421 signatures yesterday.

The FSCS Levy Action Group was formed by Informed Choice last February after 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.

Yesterday’s date was chosen for the lobbying effort as Informed Choice says this is the day most interim levies are paid.

Bamford says: “Today I will be writing to Mark Hoban with a copy of the petition and all 1,421 signatures. I will also write to Hector Sants at the FSA and Mark Neale at the FSCS, to ensure they are aware of the strength of feeling over this issue.”

Investment advisers have been hit with a £60m interim FSCS levy for 2011/12, 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 get updates of the campaign on the FSCS Levy Action Group website and raise awareness of the campaign through twitter using the hashtag #HelpUsHoban.

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Comments

There are 25 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This may not do any good but it is so wirth trying. I have emailed my network, along with other networks asking they distribute the link to the site to their all of their membership. I have also emailed every client asking them to sign this, explaining the costs come back to them in the end. Ladies and Gents this must not be a wasted opportunity,please do likewise. It takes less than 30 seconds. Good luck Martin – please post teh final numbers of signatures tomorrow.

  2. Thanks, Marty.

    We’re already at 700 signatures which means more people have signed up in four hours this year than did in two weeks last year!

    I’ll post an update here tomorrow with a final count, once the petition closes at midnight tonight.

  3. Hi Martin

    Good to see someone taking up the gauntlet in the Financial Services sector, I thought the bigger players like Networks would be more akin to this type of challenging the quango outdated out of touch government on this rather than an individual. But just goes to show if we all continue to moan and groan about the proble it will never go away. Well done. However to reflect a truer number of signatures you will need to delete some of the duplicates as I accidentally hit the send trice.!!

  4. So What? No one takes any notice.

  5. Thanks, Mervyn. Imagine what we could have achieved if one of the big IFA networks or nationals had been leading this campaign!

    I’ve just removed the duplicate names I could find and the current signature count is 784. Please keep the support coming!

  6. Many moons ago I once organised a petition against the building of a supermarket on the doorstep of our housing estate.

    Pretty much every household signed.

    When it finally got to court the judge said petitions are worthless, everyone just signs them.

    The judge said only individual letters could be taken as a genuine personal objection.

    The FSA has form as long as your arm when it comes to riding roughshod over democracy and they will unfortunately do so again over this petition.

    A better idea would be to start an online pledge whereby every signatory agrees NEVER to vote Conservative again until things change.

    100,000 signatures to this pledge should make Call Me Dave sit up!

  7. No surprise at all that the two negative comments above are both from people that don’t have the confidence to put their own name to their opinions!

  8. It always seems to be the same few hundred who stand up to be counted.

  9. Only 800? Does that mean everyone else is happy with the current system. C’mon people get signing and support this. Only need another 99,200 to get this considered for a debate in the House of Commons!!!

  10. Stephen Rowland 25th April 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Anonymous @ 1,29 is right about petitions. Apparently you could have thousands of signitures on a petition – but it only counts (in real terms) as ONE! Astounding I know.

    The only way to do this properly, is too unindate Hoban individually WITH LETTER’S / E MAILS and become a nuisance – otherwise you are wasting your time! This petition info was told to me by the Local Council who always have petitions against everything contentious! I was told in no uncertain terms individually is best!

  11. Alistair Paterson 25th April 2012 at 3:08 pm

    All three of us in here have just signed up .. nearly at the 1000 today … keep up the good work guys

  12. 900 Signatures good luck with that one!

  13. @Anonymous | 25 Apr 2012 2:59 pm

    The way I’ve set up this petition means that each person who signs is sending an individually signed email to Mark Hoban. I hope that after receiving over 1,000 emails today, he is starting to get the message!

  14. I’ve signed.

    It’s a shame about the negative comments above but in reality this is just the first but necessary step in the battle for a fair FSCS. If this is ignored (and I’m afraid it might be), the next step is to arrange a mass emailing of MP’s. It’s really easy through the theyworkforyou.com website and the emails go to your local MP who should give them personal attention.

    Ultimately we may all have to refuse to pay, but that is an extreme option and risks us all looking very silly if we have failed to try the simple things first.

    Martin’s action here is commendable and those that don’t sign just because ‘it might not work’ are basically making their negativity a self fulfilling prophesy for the rest of us.

  15. Rupert Wainwright 25th April 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I have little time for those named ‘anonymous’. Gutless lot! But it is true that petitions are not as good as lots of individual emails and letters. So Soren is right. As I am a Compliance Consultant and not an adviser, I have taken the trouble to find an IFA who I believe I can trust to do his utmost for me, although I know that he can not be right all of the time. So I object to the high costs that he can not control.
    The way you have set this up Martin is great. If it fails, get us all to send individual emails.

  16. I have signed. But Hoban has shown himself to be arrogant and ignorant of the issues involved. We need to get rid of every MP who belongs to one of the major parties – voting for an Independent is the only chance we have of bringing a measure of democracy to this extremely undemocratic country of ours.

  17. I have carefully read Martin’s wording of the petition before signing it to ensure it is something we can all agree on.
    What is worth pointing out is that Herbert Smith sent letters to 400 firms (not individual advisers as networks counted as 1) and a further 162 several weeks ago, who used Keydata. Firms who only used later editions of the Secure Income Plans may yet get a letter from HS too.
    So Martin’s comment that the vast majority of advisers did not use Keydata when it looks like 562 or MORE firms alone did, needs to be balanced with the fact that so far, there are 1,260 signatures on the petition.

  18. Nicholas Pleasure 25th April 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Phil Castle,
    I’m not sure of the point you are making. 562+ firms used Keydata, a firm that was Authorised and Regulated by the FSA.

    What IFA, big or small, has the unlimited resources and unlimited access that the FSA has. If the FSA believes a firm is fit and proper to be regulated then an IFA should be able to recommend its products without further due diligence.

    I didn’t sell Keydata myself but realise that this was luck more that judgement. Any of the firms that I do recommend could easily go that way.

    We need to stand up against the FSA, FSCS, FOS and MAS which between them act in a similar way to any fascist regime.

  19. Phil,

    We’ll be expected to pay Herbert Smiths fees as well, for an action that is already beginning to fail.

  20. May I very seriously suggest the following:

    All network members email their respective network and inform them that they will not be paying any fees related to FSCS and FSA with effect from May 1st, say why they won’t be paying it, and insist that the network write to Hoburn and Sants forwarding their emails to them respectively. In addition to the networks own protest on behalf of its members, directly authorised firms to with hold payment similarly, and write direct to the offending parties as to why (they will understand cash – especially Hector Sants; he’s used to spending a £42,000 a month salary plus expenses).

    I am serious here – if we don’t undertake such strong action, we WILL be ignored.

    This latest ludicrous increase will have certainly been the last straw tipping many over the edge into leaving the profession for good. That will in turn mean even less of us to spread these larcenous costs between, and therefore we’ll very soon see yet more substantial hikes, and so on.

    As a firm with not a solitary complaint and 22 years in the business, I am being asked to find an additional £450 per month, per adviser, plus a one-off £239 for 2009 -10 for some reason. We are a two adviser firm. It now costs me £2000 a month just for Network and FSCS fees alone.

    This has to be aggressively challenged, or the FSA has got what it has been bullying for all these years. If they can’t regulate us out of existence, they are going to price us out of existence instead. This is simply constructive dismissal of an industry sector by a regulatory body that out of touch, out of control and drunk on power. If there are any good Barristers out there: do we have the makings of a Class Action here?

  21. Stop complaining and get on with it!

  22. Nicholas Pleasure’s comments are encouraging, probably an IFA who understands the real implications, unlike those IFAs who were calling for the FSCS to go after IFAs who advised Keydata. Let’s put it simply to those IFAs who have no understanding – Keydata IS (or more accurately, “was”) a product provider regardless of how it is classified. PI insurers know it is a product provider. Name me a PI insurer who thinks they can make a profit out of IFA PI insurance when IFAs are held liable for the failure of product providers. If this action by the FSCS continues much longer PI insurance cover for IFAs will be history. What IFAs should be petitioning about is getting the FSCS to stop attacking them for the failure of a product provider!

  23. Well done all supporters of this action. We have got to pile on the pressure, which I know is diffficult, when trying to run a business. Slowly but surely all these organisations are killing the IFA industry and it will affect us all. Why do you think Sants is getting out, he can see the writing on the wall and find himself a well paid job with his cronies before the proverbial hits the fan.

  24. I agree with Ken Durkin’s comments at 9.30.
    I also agree with Nicholas Pleasure. FSA rulebook does allow us to rely on what is being said by another regulated firm, that may be why FSCS is using the law rather than the rulebook.
    Personally I lik the idea of everyone refusing to pay FSA fees or making cheques presentable on conditions WE impose. If the FSA’s contract with advisers was a consumer contract, it would be banned under the Unfair Contract Terms. The problem is it is business to business.

  25. The FSA says you should have carried out due diligence but does not say how you should have done it in its latest decree. However, COBS 2.4.6R says:

    ?(1) This rule applies if the rule on reliance on other investment firms (COBS 2.4.4 R) does not apply.

    (2) A firm will be taken to be in compliance with any rule in this sourcebook that requires it to obtain information to the extent it can show it was reasonable for it to rely on information provided to it in writing by another person.?

    COBS 2.4.4 R talks about information relating to the customer but the phrase ?any rule in this sourcebook? means it clearly applies to the whole of COBS.

    My view is supported by the pre 1 November 2007 equivalent in the old COB sourcebook ? COB 2.3.3R says:

    ?A firm will be taken to be in compliance with any rule in COB that requires a firm to obtain information to the extent that the firm can show that it was reasonable for the firm to rely on information provided to it in writing by another person.?

    So we must ask ourselves what the provider (which is, in the legal sense, ?another person? has said about the product in writing and if it is reasonable to rely on it.

    In my view, it IS reasonable to rely on a brochure or KFD published by a firm regulated by the FSA itself. If, on the other hand you have an e-mail from somebody in Nigeria claiming to be a penniless member of its Royal Family I might take a little more persuading.

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