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Park Row advisers set to get FSA verdict

Ex-Park Row advisers will soon learn whether or not they will be reauthorised under new networks, with some set to see their authorisations cancelled, Money Marketing understands.

The FSA is due to contact advisers over the next few weeks, determining whether they fall in to one of three categories. Advisers in the first category will be reauthorised imminently.

The FSA still has questions over the second category of advisers, meaning they will have to wait for the outcome of a past business review before learning whether they will be reauthorised. The third category will be told the FSA already deems they are not “fit and proper” and their authorisations will be refused.

Over 30 advisers have already transferred to Tenet while 10 are awaiting investment permissions. Other advisers are waiting to transfer to Personal Touch Financial Services.

Tenet sales and marketing director Keith Richards says: “Given the time that has elapsed, I would hope that each adviser will be given confirmation of their category within the next fortnight.”

Many of the 240 former Park Row advisers have been waiting four months to be reauthorised and have been unable to service clients during this period.

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Comments

There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Richard Costain 11th March 2010 at 9:41 am

    I am fortunate (?) that I have actually been categorised (as a “B”) which means that I will have to wait for the outcome of the KPMG business review. I think that most advisers fall into this category and as yet I have not heard of any “A’s”. A number of colleagues have not heard anything whcih is very worrying for them.

    It is very frustrating that Park Row cannot provide us with a list of the clients affected despite several assurances that we would have them “next week”. We have been given a timescale that the Review will be completed towards the end of March/early April but I’m not confident that this will be the case.

    I am now having to pass more and more clients to other advisers (especially with end of tax year planning), resulting in a further loss of income. We will be entering a 5th month in a couple of days and this is clearly not acceptable. A business can only function for so long with limited income. My small IFA business is not a bank with deep pockets.

    The FSA do not understand the stress that this is placing on individuals and their families but the powers in Canary Wharf do not really care. ALL of my clients that are affected by this shambles have expressed nothing but exasperation that this could be allowed to happen.

  2. Whilst I am fortunate not to have been with Park Row, I feel for the consultants who have been left in this situation. In fact appalling. Not only are they losing income but their cleint banks are probably being decimated. More importantly, the clients are not getting looked after. How can the FSA talk about treating customers fairly when they leave them in limbo. If the problem arises because Park row were not giving guidence to their IFA,s as to the quality of the business being written then the issue surely lies with them. As I have said repeatedly the majority of IFA,s would not intentionally go out there and give bad advice. Some of the blame must also lie with the FSA, who if they had done their job properly would have identified problems with Park Row long before this which would have meant that Park Row should have given guidence to their IFA,s. Once again the FSA will not take responsibility for their errors, accept that Park Row did not do their job properly laying all the blame on the IFA. There must also be a question of depriving people to work through no fault of their own, which must go against the Human Rights Act but the FSA could not give a monkeys uncle about that or the IFA. They are a law unto themselves. Judge Jury and Executioner.

  3. Totally agree with Richard Costain above, although good to vent our anger i’m sure the FSA are not reading these comments boards not they are hurrying through our applications either. I would like to know what they have been doing with our applications up until now (apart from using them as paper planes) if they have just started to look at past business.

    If we are authorised will the FSA be compensating us for loss of income loss of clients and general stress to everyone involved, i seriously doubt it. If i thought it would do any good i would go down the complaints route, but i would imagine that there isn’t a complaints officer in the FSA as they deem it unecessary.

    I now hear that L&G (cofunds) are writing to our clients telling them to seek advice elsewhere and linking them to the park row stories in the pinks. Can it get any worse.

    As Sprungy once said we may as well be stacking shelves in ASDA. Mind you they are regulated by the FSA as well.

  4. Quite obviously the FSA has no regard for the financial well being of the people concerned and produce a smoke screen in the full knowledge of the damage it will cause.

    In the short term what is the probability of no-low-medium or high damage resulting from carryover authorisation, in comparison to that of the Park Row failure,

    While the current situation appears to conflict with the rights granted to the individuals under the terms of the Human Right Legislation.

    Therefore authority should not be delayed or withheld pending some arbitory review, for it appears the FSA seeks to restore its damage public image by attacking those least able to defend themsslves.

    How many Bank’s had their authorisation challenged, amended or cancelled as a result of financial failure, or declared unfit due to the high level of complaints (i.e Non Compliance) against them?

    Inconsequence the situation beggars the question is all activity at the combined regulatory quango’s based on the assumption of future employment prospects?

  5. Given that most (but not all) Advisers “would not intentionally give bad advice” then, surely the most likely problem is not the quality of the advice, but that the advice is not evidenced sufficiently in the fact-find and advice letters. This is essentially Park Rows failing, as their compliance should have had procedures to ensure file contents met current standards. It could also be the FSAs failing, in that their inspections should have been followed up by reports requirung Park Row to improve standards. Or did both drift along in a sea of ignorance? In which case many Park Row advisers are being unfairly penalised.

  6. As an open and transparent regulator (according to its website), is there any chance that the FSA might publish, for all to see, the criteria by which these unfortunate individuals are being classified as either A, B or C?

    By the way, Matthew, the FSA does read these blogs ~ some months ago, in response to a slightly inaccurate account of a conversation I’d had with a representative of the FSA at an AIFA dinner here in Bristol, I received a phone call from the very fellow with whom I’d had that conversation. (He was correct and I subsequently amended my post).

    So Big Brother is watching us all.

    As for the ex-Park Row guys, you have my sincerest sympathies.

  7. The FSA stance in this type of business review
    is that you are guilty unless you can prove that you were innocent. As such they will wait until the assessment of the files has been completed before authorising those who fall in category B. If sufficient evidence is available to prove that bad advice was given in many cases by the same individual then that individual will not be registered. Each adviser is responsible for their own actions and cannot blame the failings of the firm that they are authorised through for any bad advice they have given.

  8. I met a Park Row adviser last week who is still wiating for authorizing. According to him, the compliance T/C etc was an issue for many years. He was told that Park Row were sorting the whole mess out. He was paying his % split to park row for his compliance etc and look where it has got him. In other words – S- F -A. They employed staff at park row did not do the job. Once the company was closed down, They swan off and get other new jobs – whilst the advisers are waiting …. and waiting.

  9. When is someone going to step in and stop this madness! These people are out of control and deserve to be taken to task over their actions. Let’s hope they are more than disbanded by the Tories they deserve to be disembowelled!
    They are a government body for Christ sake of a democratic country yet they are allowed to behave like the Hench men of an “old eastern bloc” dictator! Appalling when will someone have the clout to stop this madness and bring these FSA idiots to task and answer for the mess They have created in this industry?

  10. I am an Ex Park Row adviser who is awaiting news from the FSA.

    I can see no reason why I could be catergory C, but let’s be honest the FSA will be looking for sacraficial lambs to justify their action against Park Row, so who knows.

    I am trying to get a legal opinion as to whether it is possible to sue Park Row for not doing the job I paid them for, or the FSA for stopping my living just because I was regulated through Park Row.

    This past 4 months has been a nightmare, so at least the nightmare might be near the end.

    There have been many times when I have felt that if I was de authorised, this would be good for my mental well being.

    I notice the FSA have been taking on lots of people from Companies they have previously fined so I might have a chance of enjoying a higher salary, index linked pension, medical and dental cover, life and ilness cover and interest free travel and bike loan.

    All I have to do is work on my nasty and vindictive streak and forget all I know about financial services, & I might be in with a chance!!

  11. As an ex IFA,now retired, and a client of an ex Park Row adviser I am amazed at the actions of the FSA. If the advisers were authorised at the 13th of November and would have continued to be authorised after that date if Park Row had continued to transact new business then why couldn’t the advisers be given temporary authorisation whilst the FSA continue with their enquiries. As I am very satisfied with the advice and service received from my ex Park Row adviser I have no wish to change advisers but the FSA fail to realise that this could cost me money as I am not receiving the ongoing advice needed in the current economic climate. I am certain that the vast majority of ex Park Row advisers have given excellent advice but this was evidenced by the compliance rules laid down by Park Row. If the compliance rules were not stringent enough this is not the fault of the advisers who pay away part of their earnings to ensure this meets guidelines but the fault of Park Row. It is an injustice that the FSA has not recognised this and in doing so has caused for the advisers considerable hardship as a result of the loss of earnings for the last four months, loss of clients built up over many years and for their clients the loss of expert advice they may have received.

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