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Sprung could face expulsion from PFS

Park Row chief executive Peter Sprung could be expelled as a member of the Personal Finance Society and the Institute of Financial Planning after being fined £49,000 by the FSA.

The former LIA president was fined for failing to ensure Park Row advisers properly evidenced the suitability of sales.

Sprung, who championed professionalism for advisers, gave the FSA an undertaking he would not take on any significant influence functions for five years.

The PFS is investigating the issue and may schedule a disciplinary hearing while the IFP is set to discuss potential sanctions at an ethics, standards and disciplinary committee meeting next week. A Chartered Insurance Institute spokeswoman says: “We are making enquiries in relation to compliance issues associated with the code of ethics. Should breaches be found, appropriate action will be taken.”

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “We will definitely be reviewing his membership in light of the information we have.”

Between January 1, 2007 and January 20, 2009, the FSA said Sprung’s conduct fell short of its prescribed regulatory standards for approved persons as he failed to take reasonable steps to ensure Park Row complied with FSA requirements.

The fine related to pension advice, advisers providing advice without authorisation, the risk of selecting products based on higher commission, failure to ensure systems and controls were adequate to manage risk and failure to ensure suitability of advice through compliance checks.

Sprung failed to ensure advisers gathered and retained sufficient information and did not recognise the problems were systemic. The FSA said

Sprung was made aware of deficiencies in systems and the potential risks to consumers on several occasions but his action was insufficient.

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. gordon henderson 10th March 2010 at 1:29 pm

    The entire PR board should be ashamed of themselves over the way the company has been run in the last 3/4 years. Pretty much all of the PR advisers are having to wait, again, whilst the FSA investigate the company further. Legal action against PR is commencing I believe and quite right too.

  2. Whilst not wanting to knoock anybody whilst they are down, the way the FSA works,it could happen to any of us,this once again shows that qualifications ALONE do not ensure better advice.The same principle would appear to apply at RSM Tenon who proudly display they are a chartered firm but unfortunately they still got hammered.I am all for higher qualifications but they do not solve all of the industry’s problems. As a final thought are Tenon to face any sanctions from the CII??

  3. Scousers and other peoples money have never and will never be a sensible combination !!

  4. The vultures collect! It is a travesty that Peter Sprung has been mailgned in this way. I have known Peter many years and served on an LIA committee whilst he was President of the LIA and know only to well that he is a man of integrity and of the highest professional standards.

    I appreciate that when you are in a position of oversight you have to take the blame but events that have put Peter in this position were systemic before the businesses merged and is an issue that must be faced when companies look to acquisitions.

    The whole board and senior management have their responsibility in this and in my opinion Peter is no more than a scape goat.I sincerely hope that the PFS & IFP act with integrity.

    And again you look at this issue and compare it with the 20,000+ upheld compllaints against one bank alone and they haven’t even been taken off the road for retraining (as were PR). Don’t tell me there isn’t a bias in favour of the banks.

  5. I agree entirely with Ewart Mathias, having known Peter Sprung personally for over 20 years I also regard him as a man of integrity and of the highest professional standards.

    The Money Marketing reporter Helen Pows refers on a number of occasions to Peter Sprung as “Sprung” which Pow herself must be aware is both disrespectful and rude.

    Considering Peters past service to the industry, he deserves to be referred to as Peter Sprung or as Mr Sprung at the very least.

  6. Presumably the PFS/CII will also eject the entire staff of ” Chartered HBOS ” for their behaviour and RSM Tenon – also a Chartered firm for their recent fines. Perhaps they could tell us who else has Chartered status by the back door whilst they ar preparing the gallows for Sprungy. Jumped up hypocrites to a man !

  7. I don’t Peter personally however I am one of the ex Park Row Advisors still waiting to be authorised by the FSA after 5 months of waiting.

    I was only with Park Row for 6 months yet I am being hampered by the fact that I was associated with Park Row.

    5 months without any business, any income, or any news worth noting from the FSA – they are pathetic and really should be hung out to dry.

    I have no sympathy for Peter or any other of the executives that were at Park Row as I believe that they knew how severe the issues where with the FSA and held this back from advisors and led us a garden path.

    And to add insult to the mess any income that is still to be paid to advisors from business conducted before 13th November 2009 Park Row are still taking a %%%%!

    I’ve had to re-mortgage my home to survive and I have never had any issues or problems with compliance, previous companies etc. My only crime is that I was with Park Row for 6 months!

    I would love to see the reaction if members of the FSA where out of work for 5 months! DOUBLE STANDARDS ALL ROUND!

  8. I shouldn’t think that he will lose too much sleep over this, after what he has already been through.

    He will never work in the business again so this will be just like the TV series ‘ Branded’ where they rip his stripes off and break his sword before sending him out into the wilderness.

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