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Park Row advisers in limbo as they wait for FSA

Former Park Row advisers have hit out at the FSA after being left in limbo while they continue to wait for the regulator to re-authorise them.

Last week, Money Marketing revealed that many of the 240 former Park Row advisers were facing delays in gaining re-authorisation. The regulator says it can take up to three months to re-authorise the advisers who have not been able to advise clients since November 13. It has now sent a large sample of advisers extra questions to answer. has been flooded with comments from ex-Park Row advisers who have been unable to earn an income or offer any advice to their clients.

Both Tenet and Personal Touch Financial Services, who took on the majority of Park Row advisers, have confirmed they are experiencing delays.
One adviser who wants to remain anonymous says: “Clients are leaving and business is being redirected due to this mess and shocking behaviour by the FSA.”

Another said: “The reality is that we all feel deflated, powerless and let down to the point of apathy. Worse, we are scared that the FSA will find more and more excuses to delay or even stop our authorisations.”


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There are 27 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. what happened to human rights they should be allowed to continue advising if they were authorised before. The FSA can check them out in their time, lets stop their wages for four months

  2. steadilygoingbroke 17th December 2009 at 9:44 am

    To make matters worse the FSA are refusing to take calls on this matter now and even emails are bounced back with a message saying the recipient is no longer accepting emails!
    Earlier this year Hector Sants of the FSA wanted us to be “afraid of the regulator”. He also said ; “As a Christian, I feel strongly that in the latter part of one’s career, it is important to give back to the community.”
    You are certainly doing that Hector! Merry Christmas !!

  3. Merry Christmas FSA Out of touch and Reality as usual. All us Professional people are still awed by their bad Decisions and Incompetence and this is another .Lets say to them MERRY CHRISTMAS and suffer FOUR MONTHS WITHOUT SALARIES oh and a happy new year GOD SAVE US

  4. This is yet another example of the massive waste of time and money spent on regulation. It is job justification. All the authorisation info is held on the FSA computers. Authorisations up to date – yes, Any complaints/disciplinary – no. Job done. Effectively all these people are doing is moving to a different company with a new address, nothing else has changed.

  5. It’s about time the FSA introduced a new programme called “Treating Advisers Fairly” TAF.

  6. You need to watch or watch again Terry Gilliam’s Brazil to get a handle on the world we now live in.

    The only consolation (if it is such) is that it is not just us who have to labour under such burdens. All folks in all walks of life who try to do something are stymied by the quangocracy this country has become.

  7. I’m devastated. Been waiting 6 weeks already for them to sign me off.

    The FSA have not requested any further information from me and have everything that is required to get re-authorised.

    I’ve been in this business for 23 years.

    Christmas is cancelled. Will have to re-mortgage my house and regrettably I have had to let go my admin assistant at the worse time of year possible.

    If you contact the FSA you get a brick wall and then get an email saying that you have not to contact them again under any circumstances and that any enquiries must be directed through the network that you are going to.

    Park Row Exexcutives won’t reply to emails or calls and should hang their heads in shame.

    FSA are the worse thing that has happend to this industry.

    I wonder if any of the recent additions to the FSA from other failed firms will have to wait up to 3 months to get re-authorised. DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    If this was a national bank that we were dealing with here then it would be sorted out within 3 days nevermind 3 months.

    As a result of this disgraceful act by the FSA I find myself having to let go staff, my earnings greatly effected, taking on additional borrowing to get by, not being able to support my family in the way that I want, a very depressed xmas period and not being able to purchase the items that I want for my kids, loss of clients that have been with me for many a year and that trust me, redirection of business, etc etc – I could go on but the thought of all this is further depressing.

    The mongrels at Labour should be doing something about this – they created this monster of a regulator.

    Bring back the Tories (something I thought I would never say) if they promise to dispand the FSA.

    Nothing left to say.

  8. I really feel for all Park Row Advisors.

    How come solicitors and doctors dont have to re-register every time they change firms or hospitals, we have all got our qualifications and the FSA would know if any of these brokers have complaints against them so just let them keep trading

  9. This article has angered me. The first action that should be taken is for these advisers to refer their plight to AIFA and to broadcast to other IFA firms that they should not take over their clients.

    I have also reffered this article to my local MP,Mark Hoban – Shadow Treasury Secretary and the Conservative spokesman on Financial Regulation asking that he deal with this matter urgently as this could happen to any of us IFA’s.

    I hope that Money Marketing will approach the Treasury,Mark Hoban and the Liberal Treasury Spokesman for their comments.

  10. Do former Park Row advisers not realise the level of investigation that the firm was under from the FSA? That and the previous fine are well documented.
    There’s nothing Park Row execs can do, they’re out of jobs and it’s out of their hands, possibly not before time.
    When will advisers wake up to the fact that
    working for a loss-making business that is paying them unrealistic commission levels will always lead to this kind of an end?
    If you’re self-employed, take note – you get paid a lot of money in the good times, but when things go wrong, the responsibility and liability for sorting it is yours, not anyone else’s!

  11. My sincerest sympathies to all you guys out there. It must be terrible, given that whatever it is the FSA is so insistent on investigating must surely be at the management level of Park Row and not the activities of individual, front line advisers.

    I hope you finally get re-authorised early in the New Year.

  12. my heartfelt pity to those advisors caught up in the arrogant posturing by this failed regulator.
    The previous comments ring true in that this goverment has created an overpaid, wholly ineffective and all powerful entity that based on its treatment of the individuals in this sector would bear close comparison to the stasi.
    They had one primary maintain and enhance public confidence in the financial sector.

    They have failed on a spectacular scale as the country moves towards financial meltdown.Whilst I am sure the public gets great comfort from the suspension of another mortgage broker I am sure that they would be quite pleased to see some bank management suspensions.Leave the soft targets not apply one set of rules to one and another ten minutes later(see treatment of transfering honister advisors agreed on block as a comparison to the plight of the park row advisors.
    To the rest of us please remeber we do a damn fine job in the eyes of the public (3% of client complaints eminating from IFA business as opposed to the staggering bank numbers)and no ifs and no buts by every measure under which they were established this quango has failed and as so often occurs the less able will resort to bullying.Sadly for them this is the UK and although much of what was great in this country has eroded their incompetence and arrogance will be rewarded

  13. Before complaining, you have to understand WHY the FSA are doing what they are doing, and why they are taking so long. It is not to check if the advisers are fit and proper (they already have all that information), it is to create work which keeps them in a job – and if that means an adviser goes broke or goes out of business, so be it. Once you understand this, it all makes perfect sense.

  14. realist; you are illinformed, Park Row has never been fined. Many of the advisers (chartered, certified and diploma level) worked on factory gate pricing and fees. As for unrealsistic commission levels? almost every adviser once re-authorised in their new homes will be on much higher commssions than Park Row paid.

  15. Jeanette Stephenson 17th December 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I would urge anyone NOT to consider becoming an appointed representative of Personal Touch, they are appalling to deal with and their compliance is a joke. They have recently terminated a colleague of mine who is the best and most etchical adviser I have ever met, and do not have a reason to back up their decision. Join Personal Touch at your peril!

  16. Get real, “Realist”. The vast majority of these IFAs will be honest, hard-working people, with mortgages to pay and clients to look after.
    Your lack of concern does you no credit…it is simply disgraceful that every IFA at Park Row is branded guilty until proven innocent…pathetic!

  17. “Park Row closed on 13th November 2009 and my application to the FSA was forwarded on 18th. , normally it only takes a fortnight to re register, but it is coming up to four weeks now and no word yet, three weeks later we receive further requests for more information from the FSA. The FSA and Park Row knew when Park Row’s closure would be, and they have done the minimal amount of work, all claiming it is enough. Are we paying a price for Park Rows shoddy senior management, who claimed our loyalty, promised a five star treatment approved by the FSA if we transferred to selected companies, what a fiasco this is turning out to be? Those senior management individuals will no doubt end up at some other financial services company at a later date repeating the mistakes which have caused Park Row’s failure, but the IFA’s who have had to suffer a claustrophobic system for the past couple of years, are the only ones left in the firing line.

    It is easy to forget that we are self employed, but we also need to work and earn income, just like everyone else in the UK. The FSA and Park Row have forgotten that we do not receive a pay check at the end of the month as they will, whatever the regulator decides as a matter of policy they should not be stopping us from working. There must be a law against this. I do blame the FSA for allowing the delay. The FSA do after all have too much power and show a complete disregard for the professionalism of the individuals whom they regulate. Come on FSA get a grip as you have no doubt forgotten it is the festive period and goodwill to all good men – or are we hoping too much from the FSA – probably.”

  18. I empathise greatly with all park Row advisors. I was in the same situation when Berkeley Independent advisors ceased trading, largely due to an FSA investigation that eventually found nothing but destroyed an excellent network in the meantime. Tenet took over my authorisation and I contnued to trade almost seamlessly, something for which I will be eternally grateful to Tenet. Why has not this happened in this case for park row advisors? I suspect the FSA are more of a completely incompetent and unconcerned quango than they ever have been! Shameful!

  19. I sympathise greatly with these advisers who, I am sure, have all worked hard and played by the rules when in post with Park Row.
    The best thing I can take from this is the word “quangocracy” from Stuart Rathbone. I do not know if it is own but I intend to use it extensively in the future.
    I do hope someone at The FSA can take ownership of this and help these people get back on track and earning soon.

  20. Realist as well as being wrong about the commissions, you are also wrong about the fine. Park Row has never been fined. I wonder where it was well documented? Post factual comments rather than what you would like to believe please.

  21. Considering the FSA have been practically resident in Park Row’s offices for the last 2 or 3 years why is it only now they are asking for the extra information from advisers. These advisers are in the hands of a skeleton staff now left at Park Row who are slowly trying to collate the extra information that the FSA need. So between the FSA and the controllers of Park Row more than 200 advisers and their families are left to make do on their savings without the ability to write new business. Furthermore these advisers are not allowed to be paid their trail/fund based income until they are re-authorised. The rest of the adviser community outside of Park Row should take heed, it could be you next!

  22. Raphael Kozlowski 17th December 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Why don’t we all send the FSA get well cards. The message might get through.

  23. Dear Anonymous
    Interesting. I can read a set of accounts and whilst your spiel is interesting, it appears not to be factual based on what is disclosed there. I am sure there are many Park Row advisers who will move to higher commission-paying models for lower levels of supervision and monitoring by their networks…out of the frying pan into the fire, one might suggest.

  24. Commissions

    Where on earth do people get the idea that Park Row dictated the levels of commissions an adviser took.

    While an adviser there I was completely free to decide whether I charged the cleint a fee and rebated commission, took full indemnity or a reduced initial and trail.

    Park Row may well have negotiated the maximum levels with providers but that is no different from any other national IFA in the land.

    Please, if you don’t know what you are talking about just keep quiet.

  25. Scandalous behaviour by the FSA which is putting many Advisers, and their families, into real hardship.

    The guys at the FSA get paid at the end of the month, these folk, whose lives they are screwing up, dont.


  26. 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.

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