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PosSol adviser unable to secure RDR waiver despite illness

PosSol adviser Simon Goodley

A seriously ill Positive Solutions adviser has been unable to secure an RDR waiver after the firm insisted the FSA would not accept his application.

Sole trader Simon Goodley, who has spent six years on kidney dialysis and was taken into intensive care over Christmas, is currently unable to advise on pensions and investments which make up more than 50 per cent of his business.

Goodley needs to complete R02, R03 and some gap-fill to meet the RDR requirements. He tried to pass his R02 qualification three times last year, failing once and cancelling twice due to ill health. FSA rules state waivers may be granted when there are “serious health issues” and someone is prevented from taking an exam as a result.

A waiver application must be made through Positive Solutions, which says it entered discussions with the FSA in October.

Positive Solutions risk and compliance director Ricky McKinney says the firm did not submit a formal application for the waiver.

He says: “We sympathise with the predicament Mr Goodley is facing and have done our utmost to support him.

“We approached the FSA but it became clear, following our discussions, that we would be unable to secure a waiver.”

Positive Solutions says it will help Goodley transition to advise on mortgage, protection and equity release business while working to pass his exams. However, Goodley wants a 12-month waiver to give him time to take his remaining exams while still offering advice to his clients.

He says: “I am unable to sleep and just trying my best to generate leads, but I am worried about whether I can get another job with my health situation.”

The FSA says it is unable to comment on individual cases. At 17 January the regulator had received 164 applications for waivers, granting 105 and refusing six. Fourteen are still under consideration and 39 have been withdrawn.


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to sympathise. Unfortunately without clear unequivocal guidlines (and how could there be with ill health?) for the granting of waivers there are undoubtedly many of these instances.

  2. What a surprise, PS supporting their advisers 100% NOT!! So they thought about putting in a request but did not – deciding to Pre-empt the FSA’s decision. But they will support Simon in continuing with the rest of the business – the area of his business which represents less than 50% and does not require any exams or additional assistance over and above what they have always provided.
    BUT I bet they will they increase their retention percentage when his income does not reach their minimum levels which will happen if he cannot advice on an area of business the represents over 50% of his business!!
    Simon best of luck – I hope all this additional stress caused by the FSA & PS does not have any further effect on your health.

  3. Poor man.

    Disgusting outcome!

  4. its impossible not to sympathise with the individual but why would anyone leave it so late ??? It probably sounds harsh in this instance but we did have FOUR years notice of the requirement of level 4 qualifications – our jobs are stressful enough without some advisers choosing to make it more so by not planning there exams in a timely manner

  5. This is both very sad and outrageous. Best of luck Simon.

  6. That is PS down to a T. Arrogant, officious, obessed with rules and procedure and not supportive its advisers.

    However, Simon has had several years notice of this RDR thing. Best of luck to him though.

  7. This is a strange story. I completely sympathise with Simon but this is about the FSA’s approach to waivers. Where’s the comment from the FSA? What’s the point in running this story without taking it up with the FSA directly and fighting Simon’s corner?

  8. I agree with Dickerson, the man had 4 years plus to plan for this, ill health or not that is plenty of time, leaving it all to the last minute is largely his own fault, health aside.

    I’m sure though that as a suitably skilled IFA which I’m sure he would portray himself to be, he would have had ample protection in place to support his income needs through these difficult times…………….

  9. Re Simon Dickerson’s comment – maybe Simon was fitting his other exams around his on going dialysis – which has been going on for 6 YEARS – and was working to a plan that was derailed by him being taking seriously ill in the final stages – You are probably a lucky – healthy IFA who like a lot of us were fortunate enough not to have additional problems.

  10. I agree with Mr G all of us that have passed level 4 can arrogantly say that you have had 4yrs but a) this kidney dialysis has been going on for 6yrs and b) we all know that you can be a competent adviser for many years then all of a sudden you need another qualification and even being able to take it (in this incidence only once) is no guarantee of passing.

    FSA rules state waivers may be granted when there are “serious health issues” and someone is prevented from taking an exam as a result.

    ” it is unable to comment on individual cases”
    Surely most of theses cases are individual?
    Feeble excuse used by large organisations.

    This stance must be extremely stressful for you.

    You have my deepest sympathy Simon and I do hope things work out for you.

  11. As far as I understand the story the FSA has never been asked to provide a waiver – Positive Solutions had a discussion – which is not the same as making the formal written application with the full medical evidence of why Simon needed the waiver … the story highlights that the FSA has approved two-thirds of the requests – but they can only approve what they are asked to … it is not my experience that the FSA are unsympathetic to either personal illness or illness in the close family … I think the real reason why the FSA can’t comment is that they don’t have anything on which they can comment.
    Surely there must be someone within Positive Solutions who can work with Simon’s clients during this period – that must after all be one advantage of being in a national network where advisers could co-operate like this??

  12. It is a shame.. but… he presumably found time in the last fours or so to service his investment clients? but not complete his exams? mmm…

  13. Good God, there are some pious and hard hearted people on this post. Serious illness is not something to be brushed off as a non-event.

    However, the FSA are not stupid, and if a waiver application were to be submitted it would be dealt with on its merits. A waiver would only allow him to work under supervision anyway, which for a one man band becomes a self defeating exercise.

    His network Principal could assist, but would of course charge for the service.

  14. I suggest some on here look up the word compassion. Also, the term ‘sanctimonious pillock’ might be given some consideration as well. I hope and pray it’s never you….

  15. @ Simon & James
    well said
    Fsa staff who are sick are allowed a very generous package and I doubt very much that they would lose their jobs.
    I do not expect any compassion from them.
    To Simon, I salute the fact that you are willing to work at all given your illness.
    All the best and take no notice of the idiots who have never walked in your shoes.
    The adviser community is a different matter.

  16. Actually, before some of you get too giddy up on that moral high ground, I think a bit of common sense needs to be applied.

    Whilst I feel extremely sympathetic to Simon’s health issues, they are irrelevant when it comes to doing the job. If he can’t get qualified in the past 4 years then can he demonstrate he’s capable of giving clients the right standard of advice?

    For whatever reason, in 2012 he failed to pass a single exam. Is a 12 month waiver going to help him if he has to pass two exams and gap fill?

    I sympathise but I’m not sure this adds up?

  17. This really is appalling. No employee would be treated this way and we are in a weak situation as self employed. I really do not understand and perhaps someone will enlighten me as to how Appointed Representatives who are not directly authorised can still be subject to FSA rules and regulations and not be granted a waiver on humanitarian grounds by the Principal who is authorised. Why have the FSA not allowed individuals within Networks to apply for themseves ??

  18. abdul baset al megrahi ( lockerby bomber)
    had more rights than this guy.
    Think about it.

  19. Hi, THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT ME….Please read on…
    For those who have supported me, Thank you, For those that haven’t, I respect your right to expect your views.

    All I I would say, is come and share a week with me and try and earn, learn and sometimes get through the day – you would change your mind I guarantee it. We all have a bad situation story I’m sure. All I’ve ever wanted to do tried to do is quietly make my own way supporting my kids and being a caring IFA. PS have known for 6 years about my historical medical situation since birth – a note goes in with every business submission, as I am allowed more time than the usual deadlines. . Its just when you look at this issue in depth, as I am beginning to do, there seems to be issues not thought through. I may now be yesterdays news, but this I believe is against the fair treatment of potentially lots of IFA’s. Hence sticking my head above the parapet for once and risking taking the consequences of getting taken out now or later. My thanks to the reporter Sam Dale for listening to me.

  20. I agree with Gill Cardy. Good luck Simon. Were you an employee you’d have a case for discrimination I am sure. Were i PS lawyers i would be very careful as by not even applying for a waiver you appear to be treating this man as an employee with all the NI implications that has for 6+ years.

  21. Shame there is no exam along the lines of “Empathy”or “Compassion”, . Reading the above leads me to believe that very few IFAs would even understand the title and they certainly would not pass the exam. While they egotisticaly congratulate themsleves on how clever and important they THINK they are. How would they cope if they effectively had to fit a week into half a week (or less) which is what Simon has had to do for 6 years, through no fault of his own. Any comment from PS? Glad I never joined them!

  22. I am sorry Simon is “trapped” at PS now.

    PS have had 5 Compliance Directors during his last 6 years,and none for near 6 months of 2012, so there has been no stability and consistency in his support.

    CEO “Call me Pete” Coleman has sent so many mixed messages, especially after the mass resignations of last year, PS Partners are in a state of total confusion about who to turn to for help.

    A focus on profits at all costs at PS leads to this type of situation – just a pity PS wouldn’t actually try to get Simon some help by formally applying to the FSA.

    Sadly, the unintended consequence of a company spiralling out of control

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