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First4Brokers’ ARs can carry on business

Appointed representatives of intermediary First4- Brokers have been told that they can carry on conduc- ting business.

Administrator Moore Ste-phens says that as F4B is still a regulated entity, its 29 ARs can continue trading, even though it advises them not to.

The FSA has come under fire for failing to protect F4B’s ARs. Network Data managing director Richard Griffiths says all networks need to be scrutinised by the regulator.

Griffiths says: “Networks must have their systems in order but some of the existing networks’ systems are sub-standard. The FSA must pull their finger out and investigate all networks.”

F4B had five full-time staff and directors, inclu- ding managing director Charles Gooding, when it went into administration on August 11.

Administrator Mark Bowen says: “We would encourage ARs not to write business as they may lose out more but F4B still has its FSA licence. Other networks have approached some of the ARs already.”

Bowen says it is still unclear if F4B is one of four networks to have volunt- arily agreed not to hire any ARs until adequate systems are in place.

Money Marketing used the FSA’s register to reveal when each network last recruited but failed to dis-cover the identities of the four networks.

Thirty-five of the 36 networks questioned either denied that they were one of the four or had already made public statements to that effect. The other broker is F4B. One source says two of the four are small general insurance firms.

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