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Fimbra lives on as campaigners block final blow

The PIA has failed to wind up Fimbra and is to mail voting slips to 3,600 IFA firms in a second bid to kill off the regulator.

At the Fimbra annual general meeting last week, plans to dismantle the regulator were blocked by campaigners.

The PIA was pushing for what it called an "elegant wind-down" by replacing the Fimbra council of 11 with PIA chairman Joe Palmer and two other PIA directors.

The PIA needed a vote in favour from 75 per cent of those attending the AGM to get the go-ahead. But the plans were blocked when some members voted against the moves and called for the motion to be put to a further poll of all members.

About 3,600 IFA firms which are still Fimbra members despite being regulated by the PIA, will be remailed with a voting slip and prepaid envelope. Printing expenses will see costs pushed into thousands of pounds.

Leading dissident and former Fimbra councillor Brian Cochrane says he hopes to give the PIA "a bloody nose" for its failure to consult properly on the plans. He says: "Now it has been highlighted, Fimbra members will have to make their minds up. You are talking about democracy rather than a dictatorship."

But Fimbra council member Nick Conyers, a partner at Pearson Jones, has attacked Cochrane for what he called a "cheap publicity stunt".

The new poll will be taken on Thursday, January 22 at Canary Wharf. The PIA again needs 75 per cent in favour to go ahead with its plans.

Fimbra company secretary David Peffer says: "We just want to run the thing down as cost-effectively as possible."

Fimbra regulates just 41 firms, 20 of which are appealing against a PIA decision to refuse them authorisation.

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