Following PIA visits, Misys IFA is to reassess the 3,300-strong IFA membership of three of its networks, Kestrel, Countrywide and Financial Options, at a cost of £350,000.
In a letter obtained by Money Marketing, Misys IFA tells its members that, after the visits last year, the regulator uncovered evidence to suggest not all members were meeting the required standards.
The reassessments of the 1,850 firms will be conducted by Patterson Sales Training rather than its own compliance inspectors, with Misys footing the bill.
Misys says the retesting is part of its normal annual ass essment and it is using Patt erson Sales Training to ensure good practice.
If a member does not successfully complete the re-assessment and achieve the required competency, they will be retested at a cost to the adviser of £600 plus VAT a day.
Misys head of marketing Andrew Bedford says: “There are always some areas that the PIA asks you to improve on. We are now gathering evidence for the PIA to show we meet their standards.”
FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “It is the PIA's training and competence rules that IFA firms carry out at least annual testing.
“Any firm that we visit as part of our assessment may be asked to retest if we identify gaps in training.”
Kestrel member AJS Independent Financial Advisers partner Jeremy Coates says: “We have not had a visit from Kestrel for over a year. It is time to move on from Kestrel and go directly to the PIA.”
Armstrong Neal solicitors partner Gareth Fatchett says: “In my view, this is a potential breach of contract on Kestrel's behalf. If members have not been provided with the service they pay for, they may be entitled to their money back.”
In another move, Misys IFA is to ditch smaller network Investment Options, with its 18 members transferring to Financial Options.
Misys says it has started transferring Investment Opt ions' members to Financial Options as, with only 18 firms left, it did not make sense to keep the network.