As well as the regulator claiming that taping the activities of one of its teams goes against an adviser’s obligation to deal with it openly, it also believes that the effectiveness of the visits would be “undermined if our staff’s privacy is not respected”.The FSA says it is happy for investigation and enforcement visits to be taped although, while used in enforcement matters to date, this is not an option that has been exercised for supervision proceedings. In the case that was reported in this newspaper, the reason that the IFA took the step of record- ing the FSA was because he suspected that its staff were not carrying out their duties with the professionalism that should be expected of a public investigator which has the power to close down a business. The FSA has been silent on the conduct of the monitoring team during the visit. Furthermore, since the article was published, the FSA has overhauled its enforcement procedures. IFAs accept with good grace the constant scrutiny of the regulator through visits, examination of files and mystery shopping exercises, which could themselves be argued to stretch privacy rules to the limit. This latest threat, taken with the recent episode where the FSA has refused to disclose the contents of chairman Callum McCarthy’s correspondence with Prime Minister Tony Blair over the PM’s public criticisms of the regulator, smack of an organisation wanting to operate in secrecy rather than in the open manner it demands of IFAs.
I always look forward to seeing Principal Investment Management’s White List of UK equity income funds.
Bankhall’s joint chief executive officers Paul Hogarth and Simon Taylor today stand down making way for managing director Peter Mann.Hogarth will remain at the firm as a strategic marketing consultant, advising on corporate direction.Taylor will leave altogether to pursue his own opportunities, believed to be in the general insurance sector.Peter Mann takes over as chief […]
IFA Promotion’s latest press campaign shrieks: “UK employees will miss out on a staggering 285m of tax breaks this year by failing to take advantage of employee share schemes.” While IFAP clearly does a lot of good work in selling the virtues of independent advice, the Diary thinks that blanket promotion of employee share schemes […]
Prudential is increasing its equity exposure in its 73bn life fund. It has boosted UK and overseas equity exposure while reducing property and fixed-interest holdings due to concerns over yields and falling interest rates. Investment director Martin Brookes, who runs the mammoth portfolio, says equities are looking increasingly attractive, with earnings’ growth outpacing price growth, […]
By Steve Webb, director of policy In my recent discussions with advisers, a hot topic has been the growing number of people interested in transferring their defined benefit pension rights into a defined contribution pension scheme. With many pension schemes offering eye-watering transfer values, this is likely to be an area of increasing interest. Yet […]
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A former IFA who pocketed clients’ Sipp money has been given a six-year jail sentence. Darren Say, who ran advice firm Wealth Connection, was found guilty of fraud by abuse of position and of fraudulent trading after creating a pension scheme that loaned money to clients’ Sipps before investing funds in a property company where […]
Consumer champion Martin Lewis has published a passionate warning about scam advertisements using his identity to endorse investment and insurance schemes. Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, has posted a video denouncing a cloud-based trading scheme that claims he invested £500,000 in it. He says in the video: “It is a con, it is a […]
The FCA cancelled the authorisations of more than 200 firms last year for failing to meet “basic regulatory requirements” like paying their fees or filling out regulatory returns. The regulator revealed the figure in an update today, that its Threshold Conditions Team took enforcement action against at least 207 firms for failing such compliance failings […]