View more on these topics

‘Over-regulation is putting small-cap stockbrokers out of business’

Wills & Co Financial Group founder and chief executive Peter Shakeshaft has slammed the FSA for over-regulation of the small-cap investment market and claims it is putting stockbrokers out of business.

The FSA censured Wills & Co for poor sales practices and not monitoring its advisers properly despite a fine and call to action in 2007.

Wills & Co would have been fined £1.5m if it had not been in the process of winding down its business with a large amount of customer redress due.

In an interview with Money Marketing Shakeshaft says the FSA is creating a situation where shares have to be sold in the same way as insurance products, which is putting stockbrokers out of business.

He says: “If it is, as the FSA says, that you need to sell a share like an insurance product then we have nowhere to go. There is no point in any
stockbroking firm trying to do business at any time.”

Shakeshaft says stockbrokers are also suffering from competition from firms on the continent that can sell into the UK without investor protection and have more pragmatic regulators.

He says the firm spent a significant amount of money with a top four consultancy firm to look at its procedures and was told it had not missold.

He says: “The FSA now believes it is bulletproof. They believe that good legal argument is irrelevant as they can bully or railroad any firm into

“We stopped defending our actions because we ran out of money although we still believe we were right. There is no point in any stockbroker fighting the FSA.” founder Justin Modray says: “Today’s smaller companies will be tomorrow’s big players so overregulation is a worry.”


Lending falls to lowest level in 10 years

Gross mortgage lending fell to its lowest level for nearly 10 years in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The figures show that lending fell by 32 per cent from £13.4bn in December 2009 to £9.1bn in January this year. The CML says the drop was due to borrowers rushing to complete property […]

German house poised for UK launches

DWS, the asset management arm of the Deutsche Bank group, is to launch an absolute return bond fund and a specialist global equity fund into the UK retail fund market.

Massow returns with comparison website

Former IFA Ivan Massow has returned to the financial services market with a comparison website supporting Oxfam. Compare For Good is Massow’s first financial services project since leaving the advisory market in 2004 following a failed franchise agreement with Zurich. But having moved to Barcelona for five years after the Zurich debacle “knocked him for […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The small stockbroker market has been an under regulated, if not non-regulated excuse for boiler room sales tactics for decades. These guys are just beginning to get the level of regulation they should have been subject to for decades. If that drives 95% of the to the wall it will be a major victory for consumers.

  2. How about some clear regulatory procedural guidance on how small cap stockbrokers should operate? Oh, I forgot, that’s what we’re seeing now. A shame that doing it after the event has bashed yet another firm into oblivion. Still, never mind, we’ve got to be seen to be big and tough and ruthless on consumer protection. That’s our primary charter after all. As for the banks………… oh, don’t go on about them, they can wait for another day (or decade).

  3. Anybody remember Harvard Securities? That was 80s chic. Lol

  4. Julian Stevens hit the nail on the head, when will the bank salesforces be regulated, sorry ‘supervised’, properly.

    Last week my wife was standing at the teller’s window in the ‘BIG’ bank when she was told she had X amount in her account and that she should be doing this that and the other with it, all within earshot of the people in the queue behind her, she had sold some precious items to keep us going. Last night the ‘BIG’ bank called to tell her she needed an ISA, some car insurance, life cover, household cover…this man was a salesperson yet he knew every detail of my wife’s account and all her personal information. She asked me how someone who was selling for other firms within the banking ‘group’ could have access to the bank account, can you tell me Lesley?

    As for ‘small cap stockbrokers’, or any stockbroker for that matter, are they doing something socially useful? (sorry Hector) I haven’t met any, particularly my siter-in-law’s ex boyfriend.

  5. Thanks for your comments. I think the point is that because of principal based regulation it is open to different views. We DID spend £1.5m on a top four accountancy firm and there view was different to FSA. Where does that take any of us ?

    We all have various views on stockbrokers but where do the jobs come from if we cannot fund small companies. Private investors are being pushed away from the AIM/PLUS markets. I just want a debate that will find a solution.

    Check out my video interview on Thanks for reading this.

  6. Philippa Grocott 2nd March 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Thought this might add a little more weight

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm