View more on these topics

IFA group plans Euro challenge on the FSMA

A group of IFAs co-ordinated by Sway chief executive Jon Maguire is seeking £1m to challenge the legality of the Financial Services and Markets Act.

It is setting up Justice for IFAs, a lobbying firm, to argue that the Act breaches European human rights legislation.

Their efforts will be based on three main points. The first is that where any inquiry may lead to criminal charges, which it says is the case with all FSA probes, it is the right of anyone under

investigation to expect the protection of common law. The group argues that, as the FSA can take away IFAs&#39 licences if they refuse to co-operate, it is in breach of European law.

The group also believes the ombudsman&#39s £360 charge for

complaints – even if they are later dismissed – is against natural justice. It wants the charge repaid where the complaint is not withheld.

Its final argument is that the FSA should stick to its handbook and not engage in retrospective action.

Maguire says: “I hope that IFAs and some providers will support the group so we can all operate in an orderly market that is not against itself. In the eyes of the consumer, the financial services industry is appalling.”

FSA spokesman Rob McIvor says: “The FSMA is being reviewed by the Government. I am sure it will be pleased to assess the group&#39s submissions.”


Friends fined £675,000 for mis-handling mortgage endowment complaints

Friends Provident has been fined £675,000 for mis-handling of mortgage endowment complaints. The Financial Services Authority said Friends was guilty of failures in its procedures between October 2001 and February 2003 which led to the mis-handling of mortgage endowment complaints. Friends Provident received 21,788 mortgage endowment complaints between March 2000, when its dedicated complaints handling […]

Throwing light on the costs of state pensions

We have seen a large number of papers and proposals that will affect pensions over the coming years. These include a new priority order on winding up defined-benefit schemes to provide extra protection for long-serving members. There are proposals to simplify contracted-out schemes and bring annual savings to employers of up to £16m by allowing […]

Friends comes up with with-profits alternative

Friends Provident has added a smoothed managed fund with a protection feature to its fund range for the investment portfolio bond The UK safeguard optimiser fund is a unit-linked fund that is being marketed by Friends Provident as an alternative to with-profits because of the smoothed returns it provides. The protection feature means 80 per […]

Hope and cheer for the new year

It was a nasty old year for IFAs in 2003. The main culprits were PI and continuing negative investor sentiment. Some advisers struggled and hundreds quit while few matched the scale of profitability of three or four years ago. There were some big losses, although a huge number of intermediary businesses remain profitable. But was […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment