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Why are they doing this to our dad?

The editor’s comment of the week

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



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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Get some help from IFADU or Adviser alliance or alasdair sampson.
    Do not try and do this alone. The network will try and absolve themselves from all responsibility.
    Your dad is lucky he has a family like you who care. This is a classic example of why the longstop must be adhered to as it is for all other professions.
    Please also write to MP Mark Garnier and the treasury select committee. They have shown interest in the lack of a long stop.
    Good luck.

  2. This bizarre situation is at odds with other professions with the medical profession having just three years before a claim is time barred. In the meantime carefully consider your trading vehicle – either a limited liability company or limited liability partnership.This is the style increasingly selected by accountants and they should know!

  3. 20 years ago? When, exactly?

    Business type – endowment, pension transfer etc?

    Authorisation type when business done – FIMBRA Principal, partner, adviser?

    When did he become networked and why?

    20 years is a long time, and for a quantifiable claim to be 10s of thousands is unusual.

    PI insurance is written on a claims made basis so dependent on when he became networked the new umbrella should have done due diligence. If they did not they left themselves open to an awful lot of pain.

    Is there an ambulance chaser involved?

    In 1991 a card index system for a one band IFA was the norm. However there should have been a correspondence file containing reports, recommendations, quotations, letters. The network he left in 2005 may have askedfor all original files.

    Some pointers you may wish to ponder.

    Your father was required to keep records in 1991 for up to 6 years. The fact that he has destroyed them is an admin necessity.

    Clients do not keep files for twenty years.

    Ambulance chasers are lazy. If you can get the good people of Adviser Alliance involved I suspect the chasers may see “no win no fee” as no fee.

    Re-post please as I will help if I can.

  4. This shows that, however well you get on with your client, it may not be the client who forces the complaint.

    Having said that, it is thoroughly disgraceful that there is no time bar and and an IFA is guilty until proven innocent.

    As he is retired and therefore probably involved in it personally, isn’t it an issue he could take to the ECJ as a human rights issue?

    FSA officials should hang their heads in shame for allowing this sort of thing to go on. And they should change the rules NOW!!

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