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FCA charge for late Gabriel return upheld after complaint

Spotlight on charges 700x450.jpgThe FCA was right to issue a firm with a fine for filing its regulatory returns late, an adjudicator has ruled, after the firm complained that it was not told that its submission was due.

Firms are charged a £250 late administration fee if they fail to submit their Gabriel return on time. A firm took a complaint to the Complaints Commissioner in September after being charged, arguing that it did not receive an email that it had to submit its return.

The firm was also unhappy that the FCA thought that because the email did not bounce, this was proof it had been received.

According to the FCA’s records, it sent a welcome email to the complainant’s personal address to remind them to register for Gabriel when they received authorisation, and then two emails to the firm’s address to remind it to submit its return ahead of the due date.

However, the complainant said that the firm address was monitored only by junior staff members, who might not “understand the significance of an email from the FCA or the importance of Gabriel.”

The complainant also questioned why the follow up emails were sent to a different address.

Complaints Commissioner Antony Townsend has ruled in favour of the FCA, however.

He says: “It seems to me that the FCA took reasonable steps to remind you of your obligations, and had no reason to believe that you had not received those reminders. Furthermore, you had been alerted to the need to register on the FCA’s reporting system, and to submit regular returns, at the time you applied for authorisation.

“The late returns fee is designed to cover the FCA’s costs in pursuing late returns (so that firms who complete their returns on time do not subsidise those which do not), and in the circumstances, I think it was reasonable for the FCA to charge you.”



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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I dont agree with it, but sometimes you just need to suck it up buttercup.

    I got a parking ticket a while ago bought a valid ticket put on the dashboard, the wind must have flipped it over as shut the door, hay presto £60 quid fine for not displaying my ticket correctly.

    Everyone and his uncle, charge these days just for the sake of it , utilities, phone insurance etc etc etc, cancellation fees, late fees, and fees just because you are breathing ….

  2. Were the GABRIEL returns made simpler and more relevant to the data one might reasonably expect the FCA to need to know, those charged with submitting them would probably do so considerably more quickly and with considerably less cursing and fudging to get the totals to cross-tally.

  3. He should have been fined an extra £1,000 for wasting the FCA’s time.

    When you become DA, you have responsibilities and one of them is your Gabriel returns, it isn’t rocket science.

    It is good the FCA reminds firms but have you not heard of Outlook Calendar, or other similar systems that you can set up to remind you to complete certain tasks.

    I’m surprised you didn’t try and complain that the FCA should have completed it for you as well.

    However, the complainant said that the firm address was monitored only by junior staff members, who might not “understand the significance of an email from the FCA or the importance of Gabriel.”
    As principal of the firm, you set the system up with this email address! Also, in our firm, everyone knows the importance of the FCA and any emails received would immediately be referred upwards. Do you not train your staff?

    Unbelievable article, we complain about claims management companies then make frivolous complaints like this.

    • I agree with you Justin. I may be critical of the FCA when they get it wrong (I usually try to make it constructive criticism although sarcasm does sometimes occur too), but this is the Firms responsibility pure and simple. No excuse.

  4. Whilst I am not a fan of the Gabriel returns as much of the info they collect is meaningless on a good day and the cross validation nonsense often leaves me speechless or a contender for using a record breaking number of profanities in a single sentence, the reality is you know when these need to be completed by. You shouldn’t need the FCA to issue you with 3 reminders. If you do, it calls into question your competence, systems and processes which just sends up a flair to the FCA that a visit might be in order to see what else you’re not too clever at.

  5. I think there is a consensus that you should know when your Gabriel return is due in the same way you should know when your Tax return is due.

    They arrive with monotonous regularity.

    If you do not know that allow me to remind you that you have 34 days until Christmas.

  6. John Hutton-Attenborough 24th November 2017 at 11:13 am

    “Stupid is as stupid does”!

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