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Lighthouse ‘drags its feet’ on exam waiver for critically ill IFA

Lighthouse is delaying applying for a QCF level four waiver for a terminally ill IFA as it assesses the compliance costs involved, despite assurances from the FSA the waiver will be granted.

Money Marketing first highlighted the case of Lighthouse Financial Advice financial planning consultant Cliff Linsdell in March.

Linsdell, an ex-serviceman and an IFA for 40 years, was told by his oncologist that exams could cause his health to deteriorate.

In June, the FSA said the application must be submitted through his network Lighthouse and, in August, it assured him his waiver will be accepted but that the application should be submitted as soon as possible.

Lighthouse regulatory director Andy Fouracres emailed Linsdell last month to say managing director Paul Harris will consider the “commercial aspects” of applying for a waiver.

In the email, seen by Money Marketing, Fouracres says: “The FSA has issued guidance but it is little more than I expected in that it says it will consider waivers on an individual basis and firms would have to explain what procedures they would put in place to monitor such an individual.

“This would mean 100 per cent monitoring of your files, whether pre or post-sale, but in all likelihood pre-sale. There is clearly a cost to this and while a waiver could be applied for, Paul has agreed to look at the commercial aspects and decide whether we will apply for the waiver.”

Linsdell says: “The phrasing has been insensitive. I do not understand why Lighthouse is dragging its feet on this.”

Lighthouse declined to comment on “an internal matter”.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It doesn’t get said very often – but well done for to the FSA for showing an excellent degree of sensibility.

    Both the needs of the adviser (and his clients) are being met – but equally there needs to be checks in place to ensure appropriate levels of monitoring are done.

    I would guess though Lighthouse are thinking the costs are too high…. which is a shame.

  2. If the adviser has been with Lighthouse for a number of years and the business quality has never been questioned, why would he need a 100% pre-sale check and post sale check. I would have thought that a lesser number could be checked on this basis. Say 25% and then of course his annual visit from a compliance officer which would show to the regulator that adequate checks and balances are in place.

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