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IFA won’t sign transfers over phoenixing fears

An IFA firm director is refusing to sign client transfer documents, fearing that he could fall foul of the FSA’s phoenixing crackdown.

AS Insurance Brokers director Alex Ioannou says he will not sign any more transfer requests for clients and agencies to be switched from AS General Insurance Brokers to ASIB, which are based at the same address.

ASGIB has gone into liquidation after being served a final notice by the FSA in July for failing to comply with two awards to complainants made by the Financial Ombudsman Service. An unknown number of clients have been moved across to ASIB as well as three advisers, including Ioannou.

Although the phone numbers of the two firms are different on the FSA register, when Money Marketing rang ASGIB, the call was answered by ASIB staff and business cards of ASIB staff seen by Money Marketing are branded with the old logo.

ASIB was set up in September 2005 listing John Stokes as secretary – who was not part of ASGIB – and Ioannou as director.

A further director, Hatice Kiazim, was added on July 10, 2006, the day the FSA’s final notice was served on ASGIB.

Ioannou: “I am worried about potential phoenixing and am taking the matter to the FSA.”

Stokes says: “ASIB was set up as a separate entity in 2005. We have had these specific worries about phoenixing put to us by the FSA back then and the regulator was happy.”

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