Four cases involving unregulated introducers have been referred to the FCA’s enforcement division in the past 12 months.
A Freedom of Information request, submitted by Money Marketing, reveals the regulator saw 54 cases in the past year where an introducer was suspected of having an inappropriate influence over an adviser or other authorised firm.
Not all of the cases were confirmed as being inappropriate or serious enough for formal enforcement referral but the regulator says they may have been dealt with in other ways.
Last month the FCA issued a warning to advisers on the risks of authorised firms taking business from unauthorised introducers.
The FCA said it had seen examples of introducers using authorised firms’ reference numbers to get customer policy information sent to them directly, which means the authorised firm loses control over how that information is used.
Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “Anyone in theory can introduce somebody as a canvasser to a regulated firm.
“How does a referral change into advice on what somebody might be looking for? It is not just about passing a name to the regulated entity, there is a responsibility for holding and driving the recommendations. When a recommendation is sent out, who is delivering the report and giving the guidance to the end client?”