View more on these topics

FCA criticised for upsetting firm’s employee over late fee chase

UK-Currency-Money-Coin-Pounds-GBP-700x450.jpgA firm that approached the Complaints Commissioner over the conduct of the FCA in its pursuit of a late return fee has had its complaint quashed.

The complainant contacted the regulator’s revenue team on 30 April expressing disappointment that confidential fee information had been disclosed to a staff member at their firm.

The FCA did not check the identity of the staff member, who the complainant says was distressed following the call and nature of information discussed.

The staff member was told the firm’s case involving an outstanding fee would be referred to debt collectors if a payment of £250 was not made by 5pm on that day.

In his final report, Complaints Commissioner Anthony Townsend says the firm had been made aware of the fee, as well as another outstanding fee of £151 in November last year. It had subsequently paid the £151.

Although Townsend says the FCA’s decision letter shows the £250 fee was flagged in November 2017, the complainant argues their firm did not find out about the £250 fee until later.

Complaints Commissioner sides with FCA over late fees charge

He says: “[The complainant] is unhappy that the FCA is pursuing fees in April 2018, when they believed the matter had been resolved.”

The FCA partially upheld the complainant’s initial complaint, saying “it would have been more appropriate to discuss the overdue bill with a member of your staff who was aware of the situation”.

The FCA also agreed it chased the fee “disproportionately” by calling three times and sending two emails in the space of two hours.

Townsend says: “You were late in submitting your regulatory return. The records show that the FCA took reasonable steps to inform you about, and remind you of, your obligations. Firms which do comply are not subsidising those which do not. Therefore, the FCA is entitled to charge you this fee.”

FCA removes permissions for adviser and two firms over unpaid fees

The Commissioner also says the FCA’s admission of its poor management of the situation is satisfactory.

He says: “I do not consider that the deficiencies in the management of the process change the fact that fees levied on your firm were correct and it is a matter of fact that your firm owes a fee of £250 to the FCA. The FCA’s decision letter is clear that you were made aware of this.”



Sesame revamps board as network director exits

Sesame Bankhall Group has revealed several changes to its senior management, including the departure of Sesame Network and PMS Mortgage Club managing director Mark Graves.  The group has now created two new roles – director, Sesame and director, PMS – with an announcement on who will fill the roles pending. Sesame has also moved Jane […]


How much are advisers charging for pension transfers?

Defined benefit pension transfer charges are being put under the microscope again as the regulator turns over more potential conflicts of interest. With the British Steel Pension Scheme the latest to dominate headlines and the FCA ready to interrogate further as it extends its review to include all firms authorised to give pension transfer advice, […]

Tax avoidance (the fight goes on)

In recent times, we have witnessed high-profile celebrities and sports stars make the headlines for potential tax liabilities on ‘failed’ tax avoidance schemes. We are now used to reading about these individuals, but what about those who advise on such schemes? Read more


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The Commissioner also says the FCA’s admission of its poor management of the situation is satisfactory.

    So all the FCA has to do is admit that it handled the situation in an inappropriate manner and the Commissioner says: Okay. That’s not really good enough. I rather doubt that the FCA would have been so magnanimous if the employee being hassled had told its caller where to get off.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm