A former Sesame member says incorrect advice from the network is costing it £10,000 in unnecessary FSA fees.
Burton Investment Services says it wound down its practice in March 2004 rather than December 2003 after advice from a Sesame senior account manager which told them that was when the FSA's charging year would end.
But it has since been sent a £10,000 bill for FSA registration charges for 2004 and has now found out it should have wound up the business before December 31 to avoid this year's regulatory charges.
The firm, which had seven advisers last year, says the soaring cost of professional indemnity insurance and other regulatory costs have forced it to close its doors after 14 years in business with no claims against it.
Sesame says while it is conducting an investigation into exactly what happened in this case, it did address this issue in a circular sent out on November 18, 2003 while dealing with a number of other issues. The circular said members needed to leave by the end of 2003 to avoid 2004 FSA charges.
BIS principal Philip Carter says: “We have been given the wrong information and it has cost us £10,000. If we did that to the general public we would have been forced to pay up.”
Sesame spokesman Richard Wheat says: “We were aware that there was an issue surrounding the timing of the charges because of member feedback and this was why it was addressed in the circular.”