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It’s going to be wild, not mild

THE EDITOR’S COMMENT OF THE WEEK

I thought that it might be useful to keep readers informed of where we are now six months on from the closure of Park Row. Our experience could be very relevant to all advisers who are linked to a network. No matter what your qualifications are, do not assume that good practice, high levels of service and integrity or lack of client complaints will protect you in the future.

Indications are now that it could be the end of June before authorisation is considered (this will be nearly seven-and-a-half months from the date of closure) as client redress letters following the KPMG business review are still in the process of being sent and clients will be given up to four weeks to respond (I have had no clients contact me yet to say they have received letters). The categories of advice that are being reviewed are Pension Transfers, income drawdown, annuities, investment bonds, structured products and advice to the elderly.

Most of the above categories required “specialist” authorisation which is why so many advisers with “high” levels of qualifications are still not authorised. We have been advised that if the Park Row desk-based monitoring team originally passed the case (pre-approved) and redress is requested by a client, the adviser will not be asked for any contribution towards any PI excess. What is very worrying is if DBM did not pass the case (that is, it did not require pre-approval), Park Row is reserving judge-ment on whether to pursue advisers for full/part costs. Also, if any redress is rejected by a client, then this will be considered to be a formal complaint.

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