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Mass protest is needed in Black day for IFAs

If the photograph on the front of Money Marketing of August 18 did not

incense every IFA in the land it jolly well ought to have done.

How Douglas Black could appear with his smug mug on the front page

gleefully announcing Towry Law&#39s plans for 1.000 IFAs must represent the

biggest cheek of all time.

If you remember, his and his board&#39s incompetence buying Advizas will cost

every IFA in the country a considerable increase in their contribution to

the Investors&#39 Compensation Scheme.

We now know why the £75m paid by AMP was not used for propping up

Advizas. Mr Black, in the article, informs us that he could have let

Advizas go bust, costing the ICS £50m.

I ask everyone the question – could Towry Law seriously continue trading

after leaving a debt of £50m through one of their subsidiary companies?

Would any investor trust their money with a firm with £50m debts? If

that is the blackmail tactics that they used with the ICS, more fool the

ICS for not calling their bluff.

I have a message to all advisers in this country – if you have not already

written to the ICS and lodged your objections with the FSA, don&#39t you think

it is time you did?

Don&#39t just let me shoot all the bullets, I am afraid my gun is not big

enough either to take the smug look of Black&#39s face or kick him out of his

Aston Martin Virage – yes, it looks like you are all paying for the running

of that too.

This whole fiasco is a huge signal that, to save embarrass-ment, you can

be bailed out by the compensation scheme and walk away from your basic

obligations.

The one thing for certain is that Black and his co-directors will

certainly not be suing their professional advisers under the present

arrangement – they would if they have to foot the whole £50m bill.

My vote is to call Black&#39s bluff to let Advizas go bust, then watch AMP

get their chequebooks out and sue their professional advisers.

Otherwise we will be getting our chequebooks out to pay for a deal on

which none of our names appeared on the contract. How much damage will

Towry Law do next time with 1,000 advisers?

Peter Hargreaves

Managing director,Hargreaves Lansdown,

Bristol

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