Our father is 78 and was a financial adviser (predominantly independent) for over 35 years before retiring in 2005. He has recently received a complaint from one of his clients for some business written 20 years ago which could mean a compensation payment of tens of thousands of pounds.
In his working life, our dad was a hard working, diligent and conscientious man who always viewed his career as a vocation rather than just a job, making sure that widows and orphans would be looked after financially.
We appreciate the FSA is there to protect customers and make sure they are treated fairly but surely their mandate must also be to protect IFAs, as a healthy financial services industry is good for the economy and the country. There can be no other career where you are liable for work you have undertaken until the day you die. It is unjust.
Over the years, the goalposts on regulation have moved considerably but this does not seem to be taken into account when complaints arise. The network group he is under has asked for a file but in those days our father only used a card system to record details so basically it is his customer’s word against his. He knows he has done his best for his clients but he cannot prove it and never thought he would have to.
The clients have no proof that our dad has done anything wrong – even people accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty but apparently this does not apply to IFAs.
These particular clients are a husband and wife and my dad remembers having a really good, friendly relationship with them. The husband apparently now has dementia, so we doubt very much he will remember much, so somebody else is fuelling this fire.
Why isn’t the FSA protecting people like our dad against greedy opportunists?
Two of our husbands are also IFAs and are very concerned about their own futures.
We do not understand how these good men are held liable now for changes in market conditions/ procedures which they could not possibly have predicted.
We each have sons looking at career choices and have strongly discouraged them from becoming financial advisers as they would have this burden. By failing to implement a time bar, the FSA is squeezing the lifeblood out of the industry.
Mrs R Morris
Mrs A Monks
Mrs J Haseltine