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Firms to fast-track Network Data reps

A total of 380 appointed representatives have been left in limbo this week after the FSA removed the permission of Network Data.

The regulator ordered Network Data to notify its appoin- ted representatives that it is no longer permitted to carry on regulated activities and also told the network to ensure that all its ARs alert their clients that they are no longer permitted to conduct business on behalf of Network Data.

The network has come under criticism over the last eight months for missing commission payments owed to many of its appointed reps. Blue Q Mortgages director Jason Carpenter says he is owed over £14,000 and says: “I am resigned to not seeing my commission.”

Several other networks, including Pink, Whitechurch and Lime, are offering to fast-track applications for Network Data advisers. Whitechurch chief executive Ian McIver says: “The ind- ustry has to work quickly to help these ARs.”

In a stockmarket alert on Tuesday, Network Data said Mortgage Broking Solutions Limited, the mortgage broking network acquired from the Manchester Building Society last October, continues to trade as normal as a separate subsidiary. In March, Network Data took out a debenture with Bank of Scotland against MBSL’s assets, for an undisclosed sum.

Last week, Network Data chief executive Richard Griffiths emailed the firm’s top 20 ARs to inform them that a planned trip to Marrakech in May has been cancelled. He also said in the email: “Having had approaches from six interested parties, we now have a short list of two parties with whom we are in intensive discussions on the financial and practical aspects of the proposed deal.”

The network had been planning to sell Botleys Mansion, its Surrey headquarters, at an asking price of £5m but Knight Frank, the estate agency marketing the property, no longer lists it on its website and would not comment on whether it was still up for sale.

Network Data was unavailable for comment.


‘Mean spirit’ delays pension rise

Pension consultant Ros Altmann has labelled Chancellor Alistair Darling “mean-spirited” for waiting until November to implement a £4,000 boost to the capital disregard on pension credit.

UK policy: Kate Moss and short-termism

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” said supermodel Kate Moss, who is not often credited for her insights into policy making. Perhaps she should be. In politics, as in matters of diet, the course of action that is the best over the long term is often not the most desirable course of action in the short term. Add the instant gratification of the democratic electoral cycle and, instead of good policy making, you sometimes get the equivalent to a midnight binge in front of the fridge.

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