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TSC piles pressure on FCA to repay £118m overcharged in adviser fees

Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie says there is a “strong case” for the FCA to compensate advisers after they were overcharged by £118m in regulatory fees.

In November, Money Marketing revealed the A13 fee block had been overcharged by £118m over the past five years, after the regulator admitted there was an “anomaly” in the way the adviser fee blocks interact with each other. It meant advisers in the A13 fee block, relating to advisers who do not hold client money, have been paying a higher fee per £1,000 of income than A12 firms which hold client money despite requiring less regulatory scrutiny.

Speaking at the Treasury select committee this week, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley refused to accept advisers had been overcharged.

When quizzed on the issue, FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones told MPs he did not know anything about it.

Tyrie said: “On the basis of the information put to me there is a strong case for compensation in returning this money, a strong case.

“This money clearly should not have been charged once you look into the detail of it. These firms have clearly been put at a disadvantage. Their customers have been charged more than they should and their shareholders have suffered too. I am surprised you are so firm this is not overcharging.”

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “This is a clear miscarriage of justice and any reasonable body would put it right. If a big bank overcharged its customers to this extent the FCA would force them to put it right.”

Evolve Financial Planning director James Norton says: “If we do something wrong then we put it right even if it costs us money because it is the right thing to do. These are huge sums of money and it feels inherently wrong and unfair.”

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