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Park Row advisers face FSA delays

The re-authorisation of former Park Row advisers with Personal Touch Financial Services has been delayed because the FSA is treating them as non-standard applicants and asking for extra information.

Money Marketing understands that some of the former 240 Park Row advisers have not been able to do business since they were de-authorised on November 13 because the FSA has not yet re-authorised them under their new networks. Park Row is still under investigation by the FSA as part of a review into its systems and controls.

The majority of Park Row advisers are transferring to Personal Touch Financial Services, with some going to Tenet, after parent group Royal Liver agreed the networks could present their propositions to its advisers in October.

Tenet says that the regulator is taking an increased interest in the transfer but it has not led to delays for the network. Money Marketing understands that transfers to Personal Touch have been delayed, although no one at the network was available for comment.

Tenet sales and marketing director Keith Richards says: “The FSA have taken an increased interest in the application process of ex-Park Row advisers, which, from our perspective, was fully expected.

“They are asking for information on their previous supervisory arrangements and they want to compare this against the new supervisory arrangements that have been put in place. But we are not aware of any delays in the process.”

Royal Liver decided to close Park Row after the firm sustained heavy losses in the past two years and posted a deficit of £2.17m for the first half of 2009.

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Comments

There are 48 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What the FSA needs to remember is that while they are posturing there are real people with families, mortgages and commitments waiting for their next pay cheque. I know nothing about Park Row and maybe the advisers were all crooks but I very much doubt it. I suspect the problems were managerial, as with all large and slightly crappy IFA’s. Christmas is coming – have some pity FSA and re-register these guys. Monitor them closely if you’re worried, but let them build their businesses again. Even if they run wild they cannot do the damage you allowed the banks to do.

  2. Some firms couldn’t supervise a booze-up in a pub, expect more of this.

  3. Treating Customers Fairly- the mantra which is regularly trotted out by the government bureaucracy, state agents and bully boys known as the FSA. What about treating advisers fairly? Livelihoods are at stake here and, in a pretence of caring about anything, the despicable FSA drags its feet, shuffles its papers, and moves at a snails pace to authorise individuals to earn a living. It is part of their unholy alliance with the product providers to drive out the middle man. This is a scandal and the wretched FSA must be stopped now and disbanded before more damage is done.

  4. Neil F Liversidge 10th December 2009 at 10:18 am

    The delay in authorising ex-Park Row advisers is inexcusable. How can a person go from being considered fit and proper one day to being considered questionable the next, just because they have been made redundant? I doubt that any employee of the FSA would be happy if they had to endure a non-earning interval and an enquiry into their conduct when transferring betwen departments. The difference of course is that the FSA jobsworths who are depriving these people of their living are guaranteed to pick up their paycheque at the end of the month regardless, whereas advisers have to go out and earn their living. If there were supervisory issues at Park Row then surely that is an issue between the FSA and Park Row’s owner Royal Liver. Tenet is authorised and will be responsible to the FSA for their ongoing supervision. Why victimise the advisers?

  5. I am one of the ex park row advisors and this is the worse experience of the FSA ever. It has taken them over a month to write to Park Row requesting this further information and repeated attempts by advisors and management have been fruitless.

    They have only asked for a SAMPLE of advisors further information such as KPI’s from Park Row which I believe to be around 90 advisors, however the remaining advisors are left in limbo.

    Clients are leaving and business is being re-directed due to this mess and quite frankly shocking behaviour by the FSA.

    Don’t dare try and pick up the phone and challenge them as you are met with the usual systematic responses.

    Treating customers fairly ? Not a chance.

    Every advisor registered under Park Row was fit and proper and authorised to do business up until the 13th November and the transfer process was started back in October and we were assured that by choosing to go either Personal Touch or Tenent then things would be fast tracked as the FSA had a preference for us going to a smaller group of networks rather than all advisors go their seperate ways.

    The FSA should hang their heads in shame but that is asking too much.

    It’s now approaching a month where advisors have been unable to conduct new business whilst expected to financially maintain general living expenses whilst our applications sit on some jobworths desk waiting approval.

  6. Large regulated firms continue trading throughout one, two or more years of an FSA investigation, at the end of which they may have a ‘30% discount for co-operation’ fine imposed. Large enough to get a headline but taken as just another business expense by the transgressor, tax deductible anyway old boy! Their senior execs. then remain in post, move directly to another high paying post or get taken on by the regulator. All this after regulation breaches that could have affected thousands of customers.

    IFA’s or Broker’s however, the foot soldiers, are immediately assumed to be guilty of something, the FSA doesn’t quite know what, but thats a small technicality so no matter. Then, just because it can, it takes away their authorisation and thus their livelyhood anyway.

    Or perhaps the FSA is just scraping around for evidence of supervision breaches and is using the slowing down of the re-registration process to pressure the IFA’s. If this is the case then this is unforgivable.

    The regulator obviously doesn’t actually give a s… about an even handed, level playing field approach to regulation or that 100’s of thousands of customers are disadvantaged by the large firms
    Because the background of most of the people at the regulator is large firm, bureaucratic and systems box ticking then the villains of the industry, in their eyes, must be the self employed or people who get paid ‘commission’. Ooops sorry to use such a rude word!

    Without such entrepreneurs, in the wider sense, there would be no enterprise, no job creation and therefore no money to pay their, or any other, administrators salaries.

    So perhaps the regulators can just stop throwing their toys about, put them away in the box and let probably hard working, honest professionals get on with their job of helping and advising their clients.

  7. God I am so glad to be out from under the cloud that this once proud industry lives under now. I was directly authorised until Feb of this year when due to ill health I relinquished my authorisation. I have no problem sleeping nights now and the amount odf stress removed from my life is amazing. There is life after financial services. Good luck Guys and Girls.

    Jim

  8. It is my understanding that the FSA are having to deal with masses of ‘sale and rent back’ applications totalling a lot more than was anticipated. Having set themselves unrealistic deadlines to review and approve these – in most cases newly regulated firms – they have had to re-direct all their resources to the task. As a result their usual timescales for authorising IFA firms and advisers has been hugely affected.

    Have the FSA got their priorities right?

  9. I’m glad the earlier respondent sleeps well at night, but what about the poor souls who may have been given ‘shoddy advice’ with catestrophic consequences…not an overstatement either. The FSA do well to pay special attention to some of these so called advisers.Having experienced at first hand(during my time in the compliance dept. at PR) some of the standards adopted by these ‘advisors’ (oops there I go using that word again, they’ll have me under the trade descriptions act!!) I can only assume the regulator has opened the proverbial can of worms following their visits.One ‘advisor’ even admitted conducting a fact find at the bar at half time at elland road..vmmmmmmmm

  10. Quote “The FSA do well to pay special attention to some of these so called advisers.Having experienced at first hand(during my time in the compliance dept. at PR) some of the standards adopted by these ‘advisors’ (oops there I go using that word again, they’ll have me under the trade descriptions act!!) ”
    Well Anonymous if your post is correct you should have been whistleblowing or flagging up the problems whilst at PR….and not waiting until now to post some anon supercilious remark on here.
    THIS POST SAYS MORE ABOUT YOU THAN ANY PARK ROW ADVISOR!

  11. I also concur with the above posting.

    Having worked within the compliance department at ‘Death Row’ I too was witness to the unscrupulous advice and dodgy dealings that presented themselves on a daily basis.

    I recall the advisor that fitted his own printing machine next to his laptop which was used to generate payslips in order to self certify peoples ‘made up’ income….if you thought the global recession started in America with the sub-prime market you are very much mistaken….. it did in fact start closer to home in a Park Row branch in Bournemouth.

    How about the advisor that called me one day asking how to refer to his client’s son, that had learning difficulties…..I managed to talk him out of using the word ‘slow’ within his recommendation report for a child trust bond.

    Long live compliance and the FSA.

  12. I also concur with the above posting.

    Having worked within the compliance department at ‘Death Row’ I too was witness to the unscrupulous advice and dodgy dealings that presented themselves on a daily basis.

    I recall the advisor that fitted his own printing machine next to his laptop which was used to generate payslips in order to self certify peoples ‘made up’ income….if you thought the global recession started in America with the sub-prime market you are very much mistaken….. it did in fact start closer to home in a Park Row branch in Bournemouth.

    How about the advisor that called me one day asking how to refer to his client’s son, that had learning difficulties…..I managed to talk him out of using the word ‘slow’ within his recommendation report for a child trust bond.

    Long live compliance and the FSA.

  13. I am also one of the ex Park Row advisers who as all my colleagues pride ourselves in the services we offer to our clients and especially in these hard times with ressession hitting the majority of people. This year I have found myself not only as a financial adviser in both wealth management but also in situations of clients asking advice on debt and debt management and some of the unfortunate who have lost businesses and their homes. A listener for alot of clients someone they can talk to. This is the really knowing your clients the part that the FSA don’t seem to think that we do, and yes like most of you I have been trying to get re authorised with another company what I wonder do the FSA think we tell our clients?” I am sorry however I cannot conduct your business at present as the FSA have now been taking 3 months to address my authorisation, and at the last hurdle I am one of the advisers that has received a letter asking for additional information ?” Thank god I copied my training file before sending back to Park Row that is my only consolation as most of the questions are answered in it. I have however had to explain to my family that instead of the lovelly christmas turkey they all love to share this year we will be having a three bird special from ALDI for £9.99 and all donations will be well received.

  14. The tragedy here is the lack of communication from the FSA.

    Both firms and advisers were told nothing for 4 weeks. Park Row are also culpable after making promises of a smooth transition. Watch this space Park Row have skeletons.
    The advisers operated under one of the strictest compliance regimes within the industry and are being made scapegoats in the process,
    Trust me the firms they are joining all have lighter touch compliance.
    This is a disgrace and the industry should rally around the Park Row advisers. It could be you being treated like this next

    The FSA are a joke

  15. To the former compliance worker who commented above, you must remember that any compliance oversight manager or director always has the option to suspend and or terminate an advisers contract should there be grounds for doing so. The fact that for the last few years the FSA have been all over Park Row like a bad rash and themselves not taken this action speaks volumes. Park Row has been run by the compliance department along with several consultancy and audit groups for the last few years and so the anonymous post above at 2:08 holds little weight. The hoops Park Row advisers have had to jump through to get business passed by compliance is way above anything that any of the large networks need today.
    As for Keith Richards of Tenet saying they are not aware of any delays I suggest he speak to the advisers who are going through the authorisation process at his firm and have been asked by his firm to supply large amounts of information for the FSA. I know for a fact that these advisers along with those seeking to join PTFS, 2Plan and directly authorised firms are getting the same treatment and delays.
    Apart from the advisers who cant trade, it is the clients who are now also suffering, who will answer their complaints and pay compensation for the FSA caused delays?
    The FSA knew weeks in advance of the Park Row wind down and so could have easily prepared Park Row’s compliance department they would need this information. Was it that they did and Park Row’s compliance ignored the FSA? or is it that the FSA are being deliberately spiteful like Mr Anonymous above?

  16. Response to Anonymous | 10 Dec 2009 3:04 pm:

    Who says representations were not made?and furthermore the FSA do not rely on whistleblowing to monitor a firm’s conduct, have you not heard of regulatory reporting of complaints?or other such supervisory tools?

    Your response appears to be symptematic of the whole issue and would be better placed in a comic book than a serious financial publication. ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE SWEATING NOW? merry christmas!!!!!!

  17. To the ex Park Row Compliane officer.

    I am disgusted at your callous and bitter reply to the previous poster.

    Thank god you were not reviewing my cases!

    Wishing bad luck to anyone is small and pathetic.

    Hope you look at your bitter comments and feel an element of shame in your actions. Mind you as a compliance checker I very much doubt that will be the case.

  18. I also concur with the above posting.

    Having worked within the compliance department at ‘Park Row’ I too was witness to the unscrupulous advice and dodgy dealings that presented themselves on a daily basis.

    I recall the advisor that fitted his own printing machine next to his laptop which was used to generate payslips in order to self certify peoples ‘made up’ income….if you thought the global recession started in America with the sub-prime market you are very much mistaken….. it did in fact start closer to home in a Park Row branch in Bournemouth.

    How about the advisor that called me one day asking how to refer to his client’s son, that had learning difficulties…..I managed to talk him out of using the word ‘slow’ within his recommendation report for a child trust bond.

    Long live compliance and the FSA.

  19. May I suggest that we focus on the real issues here. That many decent, very well qualified, honest and experienced advisers are being prevented from going about their business of advising their clients and earning their living due to a badly run firm no longer trading, and now the FSA’s rancorous treatment of these advisers.
    The FSA do themselves no favours by taking their unsympathetic stand here.

  20. Response to :Anonymous | 10 Dec 2009 4:20 pm

    Your stereotypical response is exactly as expected. I have many friends who offer quality and ethical advice and do not hide behind the ‘us and them facade’. Judging by your ‘defensive’ comments, I’m glad I’m not reviewing your cases…that said you probably couldnt afford me!

    The only people I would wish any bad luck to are those who deserve it

  21. I also concur with the above posting.

    Having worked within the compliance department at ‘Park Row’ I too was witness to the unscrupulous advice and dodgy dealings that presented themselves on a daily basis.

    I recall the advisor that fitted his own printing machine next to his laptop which was used to generate payslips in order to self certify peoples ‘made up’ income….if you thought the global recession started in America with the sub-prime market you are very much mistaken….. it did in fact start closer to home in a Park Row branch in Bournemouth.

    How about the advisor that called me one day asking how to refer to his client’s son, that had learning difficulties…..I managed to talk him out of using the word ‘slow’ within his recommendation report for a child trust bond.

    Long live compliance and the FSA.

  22. As a ex park row adviser who left 5 years ago and now compare my present complaince and Park row compliance when I was there. Park row compliance was all paperbased and many a file contents when I was there were lost ( by admin or compliance. As when asked for files later one to add to etc. etc. half the contents you passed to admin for submission were gone ( Key features ,EOR etc ))Thank goodness I kept a copy of everything. The admin and compliance was aweful. When I was there, PR was making a huge loss then and I could see compliance issues then . I can see why the FSA is going through PR and checking the advisers work. But, waiting for one, two three months and still not getting the advisers authorised – is aweful. Pipiline business drops off, not getting paid for months and when got authorised, starting from afresh and getting paid takes time.

  23. I think it is rather unfair posting under this topic as to how the compliance was at PR 5 years ago. Your experience is certainly not how I knew PR to operate. To say you understand why the FSA is going through PR and checking the advisers work is a very poor reflection on people who are your own “family”. I have spent the last 12 months at PR and have never experienced compliance so tight within the industry.
    Maybe it’s the advisers who were at PR 5 yrs ago the FSA should be scrutinising!!
    But these negative posts regarding PR are certainly doing nothing to help us..unless you want us to be seen as charlatans!
    Remember we are no different to you guys, we have commitments, we have families and last but not least we do have integrity and pride in the job we are qualified to do!
    So maybe before posting, stop and think how it would feel to walk in our shoes!

  24. I would liek to repeat what james said for effect.
    …. focus on the real issues here. That many decent, very well qualified, honest and experienced advisers are being prevented from going about their business of advising their clients and earning their living due to a badly run firm no longer trading, and now the FSA’s rancorous treatment of these advisers.
    The FSA do themselves no favours by taking their unsympathetic stand here.”

    The whole idea of the FSA regsiter is that it should eb a record of authorised individuals. If you were fit and proper at one firm, transition SHOULD be smooth and automatic, with basic employment references taken and then the new firm carrying out induction to the new firms working practices and checking ability to work to the new firms model. that shold be IT. For the FSA NOT to authorise and “back” investigate it’s concerns is disgusting.
    It is time for teh FSA to change from a “TCF” policy, to a TEF policy i.e. Treateing EVERYONE Fairly. Is this delay even Risk based and proportionate? I think not and so would any reasonable person, but then the FSA are not reasonable in my opinion as evidenced by the Pensions Ombudsman’s recent loss of the case over longstop imposition while the FSA continue to threaten any IFA who tries to mention a longstop to their clients.
    Whether the FSA conscieouslt intends to put IFAs out of business or not, their corporate banking mentality and arrogance along with their box ticking actions will result in many saying enough is enough and simply giving unregulated advice.
    If I was a former Park Row adviser, I would be looking at what work I need to do fo a client and testing against it what actually IS a regulated activity amd continue to charge fees for all unregulated activities.

  25. Response to Anonymous | 10 Dec 2009 8:39 pm

    ‘But these negative posts regarding PR are certainly doing nothing to help us..unless you want us to be seen as charlatans!’ …charlatans? have’nt you got a gig coming up in London soon??

  26. This is a regulator that is abusing its position and power. The advisers in question need to be lobbying their MP’s to take action through the only thing that the FSA fears…Parliament. Anything else is water off a ducks back. (I wonder if there are some Human Rights Issues being abused here????) The FSA seek professionalism in the way that businesses conduct themselves…well treating people professionally would be a good starting point. As for the ex PR compliance officer who sat on his hands……need to lose the chip on your shoulder!

  27. Response to Anonymous | 11 Dec 2009 10:29 am.

    ‘As for the ex PR compliance officer who sat on his hands……need to lose the chip on your shoulder!’…………Response; You sound like a really balanced person- a chip on both shoulders!!

  28. The sad thing here is that the FSA knew that Park Row was winding down as early as September and that apart from a few retiring, the 240 advisers would need re-authorising. The FSA also knew the date of them being de-authorised (13/Nov). As recently as yesterday the FSA have requested further information on advisers who’s form A’s have been with them since October and early November. This treatment is disgraceful and the FSA should be made to pay compensation to these advisers for the loss of earnings caused by the FSA’s gratuitous delays. Between the Park Row Board and the FSA they have caused unnecessary hardship to both advisers and their clients, hardly TCF.

  29. My application has been with the FSA since October. I am well qualified and have offered first class service to my clients for over 10 years. For the benefit of the ‘numpty’ who used to work for compliance at PR, I have a 100% pass rate on all of my file checks, my persistency has been 100% for 3 years and I have never received a complaint.

    I find it hard to accept that through no fault of my own, I cannot currently help or advise my clients, many of who have become good friends. I wonder what the reaction of the FSA would be if I received a complaint from each of my clients now for lack of service. In fact, I may just have to report myself for not meeting my TCF obligations!

    The FSA are damaging relationships built up over many years. If necessary, authorise us and put us on a high level of supervision, I ve got nothing to hide and those individuals that do occasionally let our industry down will soon be found out.

    Come on FSA treat us fairly please.

  30. I am not an IFA but I know personally several of the advisers affected.

    I think it is appalling that people are being denied the chance to earn a living at a time of year when there is a particular strain on personal finances.

    If there were issues within Park Row, why did the FSA not investigate and take action when Park Row still traded.

    These are real people who have families to provide for, its been a difficult enough year with the lack of business being written. To now deprive them of the chance to earn a living for the last month or so, with no idea as to when matters will be resolved is simply inexcusable and shameful

  31. Response to Anonymous | 11 Dec 2009 10:51 am

    No chips here……still in business, still dealing with happy, satisfied clients after 20 yrs just keen to see a fairness standard being given to all. How many bankers have the FSA applied the same punishment to…I’ll bet its not many. Our whole judicial sytem revolves around innocent till proven guilty, why should the FSA be any different

  32. response to Anonymous | 11 Dec 2009 1:19 pm

    Remember a satisfied client is not necessarily one that has been treated fairly.

    However, I do agree that innocent till proven guilty should prevail…but those found guilty of ineptitude or malpractice should be fined and kicked out sine die!!

    As for Anonymous | 11 Dec 2009 11:21 am
    are you saying that you only got a 100% pass rate because compliance was manned by numptys?!!!!!!

  33. shame Park Row was a great company till those Scousers got involved, bought it and few years later wound it up. That was a good mutual deal!

  34. Response to Anonymous | 11 Dec 2009 10:39 pm

    calm down,calm down!!!

  35. The worst thing is that there certainly were crooks at Park Row, as there are in every institution, and PR terminated them earlier this year. The worst thing is that they were then immediately re-authorised by the FSA, despite being told exactly what they were like. Why did they not deserve any extra scrutiny when we do now?

  36. I was with Park Row for just over 2 years up until the 13th November this year when they ceased trading and I honestly have never experienced a Compliance department like Park Row’s.

    More compliance and checks were done during my time with them than any other network or company I have been with.

    I have worked for some of the largest IFA networks over the years and also some of the largest banks around and experienced compliance at first hand in each of them and can hand on heart say that none of them came close to Park Row’s compliance process.

    I am not commenting on past activities or investigations by the FSA or alleged compliance workers like the fool who commented above.

    The FSA encouraged PR to channel as many as possible of IFA’s into 2 networks and we were presented with Personal Touch & Tenet.

    We were told that financial penalties would be levied against us if we decided to go elsewhere and fees would be charged for processing data transfer and migration.

    We were told that the FSA would “fast track” and do a “bulk” transfer if we opted for one of these 2 Networks.

    So many a good advisor opted for these networks.

    Advisors that have been working in this industry for many years and have built a large client base and offer first class service and advice to all clients.

    We have fantastic records and great integrity and pride in our work.

    You will always have some lesser quality advisors in any large network or company – this is a fact of life and these people should not be identified by compliance departments and dealt with accordingly.

    The most serious point here is the failings of Park Row & the FSA to Treat Customers Fairly – by having over 200 advisors in limbo our customers are suffering as a result of not receiving the service they come to expect from us.

    We all have commitments and families and have had no income for over a month now – no way of earning a living or servicing our clients.

    The FSA should hang their heads in shame but that will never happen as they follow systematic processes and have no common sense or integrity themselves.

    Park Row executives should be held in equal regard as such a straightforward transfer of advisors should never have been messed up in the way that is is.

    My form A has been with the FSA since mid October – yes 2 months. They have not requested any further information from me.

    My work experience and record is 100% compliant and I pride myself in my business but find myself in a position where I can not work or do anything about it.

    The FSA refuse to speak with individuals regarding this matter and I am losing clients every day and becoming ever increasingly worried about this whole process.

    I receive emails on a daily basis from Personal Touch & Park Row telling me progress has been made and that things should be sorted within the next couple of days yet nothing ever does.

    In today’s climate the way that the FSA and Park Row have treated it’s advisors is criminal and I hope that I never have to go through this process again.

    For those of you that wish to make sarcastic comments or dither on past relationships with PR I would suggest you look in the mirror and ask if you contributed towards the mess that Park Row find themselves in as all of the advisors that I personally know of who have worked for Park Row over the last 2 years have been a credit to themselves and this tarnished industry.

    Stop preventing honest, hard working, reliable & decent people from earning a living and servicing clients and re-authorise us immediately.

    Stop Treating our Customers unfairly and let them receive financial advice from their trusted IFA’s respectively.

  37. This situation is really distressing for all concerned, advisers, clients and staff – could someone at the FSA please have a heart at this time of year.

  38. In some ways I hope that someone at the FSA reads these posts, on the other hand, I would like to think that they are dealing with my application and havent got the time!

    The lack of communication from the FSA and Park Row is shameful.

    The situation gets more frustrating with every day that passes.

    Even more galling, is tthe fact that Park Row continue to hold on to commissions and will also continue to deduct their split. I am told that is legal due to our RI agreement, but is it moral?

    Come on Park Row, play fairly, and show some compassion at this time of year!!

  39. Response to Anonymous | 14 Dec 2009 1:23 pm

    You state in your ‘post’ that …’You will always have some lesser quality advisors in any large network or company – this is a fact of life and these people should NOT be identified by compliance departments and dealt with accordingly’.

    So you think these rogue advisors should not be dealt with accordingly…what would you do with them?award extra bonus!!! You are either very indifferent / naive about the whole issue or do not check your paperwork sufficiently (is this indicative of the standard of your files…100%?????). Yes there may be some fools in every dept.(even compliance) but isnt this a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’?

    As for the FSA not treating customers fairly? these clients are presumably not tied to you or other PR advisors by any kind of contractual agreement and are therefore able to seek advice from whoever they like. Do you not have locum arrangements in place? or is it merely a case of not wishing to see future commissions in the hands of somebody else??

    I’m afraid sir you are very transparent!!!

  40. In regards : – Anonymous | 15 Dec 2009 10:06 am

    Response to Anonymous | 14 Dec 2009 1:23 pm

    You clearly don’t have the common sense to realise that this would have been a spelling / grammer error and that the word NOT should not have been in there.

    But well done you for getting on your high horse and trying to have a go.

    I would suggest that you think before posting.

    I noticed that when I first read the persons post but lucky me I have common sense to realise an error and not get so wound up.

    Bravo chap.

  41. In response to: Anonymous | 15 Dec 2009 10:06 am

    You appear, from the tone of your posts, to be very vindictive and argumentative. I sense a hidden agenda and frankly, your posts are ill thought out and have no substance.

    You clearly have too much time on your hands and you should perhaps consider doing something useful with your time instead of trying to wind up people without whom you would not have had an income.

    Our clients do have a contract. For your information, a contract does not have to be written to be considered ‘legal’. There is such a thing in law as a verbal contract.

    As for your comment regarding locum’s, I use three, all of whom are still awaiting authorisation because if this debacle.

    Please post sensible comments, one’s that can be considered constructive, rather than label all advisers in your very narrow minded way.

  42. response to Jack Smith | 15 Dec 2009 11:11 am

    How many of these ‘grammatical errors’ are evident in client files?..it’s always the same story …’oh it was a mistake’…instead of questioning my common sense, what about the ‘advisor’ who posted the damn thing!!!schoolboy errors that hardly warrant the charging of exhorbitant fees…if you lot cannot get a simple ‘post’ correct, what chance does the poor customer have of receiving a recommendation that resembles anything meaningful!!!!

    and response to Anonymous | 15 Dec 2009 11:34 am

    Vindictive..no, argumentative…yes, well not letting you lot ‘blag’ your way out of anything!!

    my time is well spent (and rewarded) keeping rogue ‘advisors’ in check.

    Yes, we are all aware that verbal contracts on the face of it can be legal, however it is the content that actually makes it binding.Recent court cases have indicated that where covenants are challenged, the courts have continually commented that ultimately it is the client that decides where he receives advice from. The FSA certainly take a dim view of any restrictive covenants(check your facts ‘Rumpole’).

    You also need to open your mind and stop thinking of your wallet.

  43. Branston-in-a-Pickle 15th December 2009 at 3:36 pm

    In the words of a Sex Pistols’ song ‘No one is innocent’. Let’s face it, one struggles to find an adviser in this country that isn’t motivated by commissions and bonuses. Sadly it’s an historical feature of this industry and one that may or may not be resolved by the end of commissioned sales. As for IFA ‘qualifications’, come on people it’s not as if you’re spending several years at a college and then doing a further practitioner’s degree at another establishment before you’re let loose on clients. You are not perceived as ‘qualified’ in the sense that accountants and lawyers are. I’m not saying this is your fault but the coming together of these weaknesses are a problem of perception and one that is difficult to overcome.

    Regarding compliance staff, they too have had a bad press over the years. Often advisers have held the whip hand with management because they are the profit centres of a business. However, profit at what cost? There have now been so many misselling scandals that no IFA can hold up his hand and say that these are without foundation. How do you think it feels for lowly paid compliance checker to be faced with an arrogant, highly commissioned oaf (cos let’s face it this is how many IFAs conduct themselves in these circumstances) arguing the toss over compliance? There needs to be a coming together of these two professions for mutual benefit instead of the divisive culture which now exists. Until the IFA world stops attracting the white socks/chunky gold bracelet brigade then this is going to be difficult

    As for the FSA, this is clearly a beauracracy that is out of control. Its political masters have told it to get tough but it is operating a blunderbuss approach rather than one based on the rapier. I have sympathy with the IFA industry regarding one point – not one bank director that led the UK economy to the brink of collapse has suffered enforcement at the hands of the regulator. Yet, sell an investment bond without the correct level of paperwork on file and you are doomed. The whole regulatory framework is tarnished and not fit for purpose. The FSA takes an ivory tower approach sitting down in London. If its officers got out on the road and met with the industry it regulates then things might be diffirent. I fear this will never happen now. Regulation needs a fundamental review. However, we’ve had about a dozen of those since I joined the industry in 88 all to no apparent purpose. However, posters to this site who are complaining about the FSA should get up off their backsides and do something about it. You can complain about the FSA by contacting:
    FSA Complaints Team
    Corporate Services
    The Financial Services Authority
    25 The North Colonnade
    Canary Wharf
    London E14 5HS
    6

  44. I also concur with the compliance officer.

    Having worked within the compliance department at ‘Park Row’ I too was witness to the unscrupulous advice and dodgy dealings that presented themselves on a daily basis.

    I recall the advisor that fitted his own printing machine next to his laptop which was used to generate payslips in order to self certify peoples ‘made up’ income….if you thought the global recession started in America with the sub-prime market you are very much mistaken….. it did in fact start closer to home in a Park Row branch in **********

    How about the advisor that called me one day asking how to refer to his client’s son, that had learning difficulties…..I managed to talk him out of using the word ‘slow’ within his recommendation report for a child trust bond.

    Long live compliance and the FSA.

  45. Common sense should prevail here. The FSA were happy to let all the Park Row advisers trade right up until 13th November despite a long ongoing review of Park Row. Denying these advisers (of which I am one) the right to earn a living, after a period when most peoples incomes are well down due to the economic climate, is a disgrace.

    Could people not be licensed at their own risk for an initial two or three month period, on the basis that all reviews, outstanding documentation are received within this probationary period, and that if the adviser is not deemed fit to trade subsequently, he or she would have to take a hit on any fees setting up costs they have paid for. The good guys would have had the opportunity to earn a crust in the meantime.

    The Park Row business monitoring has been extremely rigorous and time consuming in recent years, and no doubt the cowboys who caused it have already gone to pastures new.

  46. I have just found out today that the permissions/authorisations department is the most under staffed and poorly resourced department in the whole of the FSA. Furthermore, most of the staff in this department are temps. This shows more than anything how important the FSA views the role of the IFA.

  47. I know of a colleague who was authorised between 15th December and 5th January. However he had no association with PR.

    PR advisers are still in limbo!…8 WEEKS has passed since they all became de-authorised…Shameful

  48. As someone who has personally suffered through product mis-selling by a Park Row advisors (outrageous front loaded charges were made on the sale of my Pension) I see the clear need for due dilligence to be carried out by the FSA, how ever long this it takes.

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