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Julian Gibbs

It is likely that the FSA will in future concentrate on the prosecution and conviction of individuals and not just firms. Such cases are expensive to defend. Using a specialist solicitor and counsel will normally cost around £100,000.

But an organisation with an excellent litigation record, Justice in Financial Services (www.justiceinfinance.com) can cut out solicitors&#39 fees and reduce the cost of an effective defence to between £10,000 and £25,000.

Jifs provide what is, in effect, an insurance scheme for all registered individuals for a flat fee of £100 a year per individual. In the event of that individual being charged with a disciplinary defence by the PIA or FSA, Jifs will be responsible for negotiating a settlement.

If no settlement can be attained, it will represent them at subsequent hearings. The £10,000 fee does not include instructing counsel but Jifs believes that, in most cases, counsel is not necessary. When counsel is necessary, Jifs will negotiate a fixed fee.

The benefits of this scheme to employers are substantial. RIs are given confidence that they will not be abandoned should the FSA attack their actions. On the other hand, by passing the defence to Jifs, an employer can distance him or herself from accusations from theFSA of tolerating or supporting wrong-doing.

The only other cost of this service is that firms must subscribe to Jifs&#39 literature service, which costs £250 a year, and an advisory service, which costs £500 a year for smaller firms going up to £2,500 a year for bigger firms.

I believe this is a highly valuable service for IFAs and that every prudent firm should take advantage of it to protect both individuals and the goodwill of their own business.

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Neptune video: a bull case for US equities?

Watch Felix Wintle, head of US equities at Neptune, discuss why he believes US equities are in a structural bull market and the key factors that can drive the S&P 500 higher.

In the video, Wintle addresses the following:

• The US market and why — despite equities rising from 2009 — he believes the structural bull market only started in 2013
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