View more on these topics

MM leader: Why hasn’t the FSA made it personal over Barclays?

Last year, Park Row chief executive Peter Sprung was fined £49,000 and banned for five years for failing to ensure his advisers were providing suitable investment advice.

It therefore appears very strange that last week’s £7.7m FSA fine against Barclays was not accompanied by punishments for any of the bank’s senior staff who supervised advice failings which caused up to £60m of consumer detriment.

The FSA says Sprung did not ensure advisers properly evidenced the suitability of sales, offered suitable advice or had adequate systems and controls, creating up to £7.8m of consumer losses.

In levying Barclays’ fine, for advice failings first exposed by Money Marketing in April 2009, the FSA revealed widespread failures over client suitability, staff training, customer literature and sales monitoring procedures. The regulator says Barclays was aware of the problems in June 2008 but did not take appropriate action.

If the FSA felt it right to personally fine and ban Sprung, why has no one in the senior management at Barclays been named and shamed or faced a fine or ban for similar supervisory failings?

Last year, the Which? Future of Banking commission concluded that senior management at the banks should take on more responsibility for failures resulting from the sales practices of staff working under them.

It is hard to see how the major high-street banks will clean up their advice processes unless those in charge believe they will be held accountable for that advice when it goes wrong.

The Sprung/Barclays comparison suggests again that IFAs are not being paranoid in believing there is an unlevel regulatory playing field between themselves and the banks.

Will any senior manager at Barclays face a similar punishment to the one handed out to Sprung? If the answer is no, the FSA should explain why.

Recommended

Pensions Regulator to issue master trust warning

The Pensions Regulator will today unveil a discussion document outlining the potential pitfalls of ‘master trust’ pension arrangements, the Financial Times reports. The paper will address concerns about the impact a lack of direct employer or member involvement can have on effective governance of such schemes. This follows a warning from pensions minister Steve Webb […]

GDP shock with Q4 fall

UK output fell by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and grew less than expected in the third quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics. The ONS revised economic growth in the third quarter down from 0.8 per cent to 0.7 per cent while publishing the fourth-quarter figures, which are much […]

Lloyds launches scheme for borrowers in negative equity

Lloyds Banking Group has launched a new scheme to help borrowers suffering from negative equity to move home. It allows borrowers who are in negative equity to borrow up to 120 per cent loan-to-value to move to a property of the same value, buy a bigger home or downsize. Borrowers have to raise an additional […]

Inheritance tax and estate planning – exemptions and reliefs

By Kim Jarvis, technical manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team In this article we look at the main exemptions and reliefs that are available on death. Within the article, spouse also means civil partner.   Nil-rate band Under current rules, any part of the estate that falls within the available nil-rate band (NRB), […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Regrettably there are few other conclusions that we IFAs can come to, it is very disheartening.

  2. The FSA claims on its website to be an open and transparent regulator. So what are the chances ot ir responding to this call to explain why no sanctions have been imposed on any individuals at Barclays? Zilch.

  3. Please can MM and wider press keep challenging the FSA on this subject? It is an appropriate question to be asking.

  4. You are right Paul. This is an outrage. However, Aifa’s silence in the face of it is an even greater outrage IMHO.

  5. At the time I felt that the fine and public shaming of Peter Sprung were vindictive and wrong.

    Given that there must have been senior management in CF roles at Barclays responsible for this mess then similar or more serious charges must be laid.

    One rule for banks, another for IFAs?

Leave a comment