Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FSCS urged to preserve Lifemark value to reimburse IFA levies | News | Money Marketing

FSCS urged to preserve Lifemark value to reimburse IFA levies | News | Money Marketing

Ah, yes IFA levies.

Dear Mr Ford, the FSA said this last week:

"A firm which had been given permission by the FSA to advise on, act as agent for, arrange deals in and manage investments would be allocated to the ‘Class D Investment’ fee block which contains both fund management (sub-class D1) and investment intermediation (sub-class D2). Such a firm’s FSCS levy would be based on the amount of tariff data they reported for each relevant sub-class and not a proportional split between these sub-classes.

You should be aware that specific information the FSA receives from, or about, regulated firms or individuals, where this is not in the public domain, is likely to be prohibited from disclosure under section 348 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This is because it would be confidential information received for the purposes of carrying out our regulatory functions and supervision of those firms and individuals. Such information is therefore likely to be exempt by virtue of section 44 (Prohibitions on disclosure) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000."
************************

Can you tell us Mr Ford? Or can you give the FSA permission to disclose?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Former head of RBS investment bank Johnny Cameron says FSA must publish report - Telegraph

Former head of RBS investment bank Johnny Cameron says FSA must publish report - Telegraph

As with most of the New Labour legislation the "Act" contains a Henry VIII clause whereby one of Her Majesy's Ministers can change it with the stroke of a pen.

Do it Mr Osborne, if it does the regulatory system no harm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FSA report into RBS must be made public, says Lord Oakeshott - Telegraph

FSA report into RBS must be made public, says Lord Oakeshott - Telegraph

The idea that one man can run a bank of that size is insane, as is the amount of money handed to him despite the failures of which there were, and still are, many. I don't think we can blame the regulators for the failure of Parliament to ensure that the legislation which empowered them was robust enough. We can also consider how much political influence was aimed at the FSA to allow the banks to 'regulate themselves', when you consider that last year there were only SIX regulators assigned to supervise one of the biggest banks we can only assume that the "collective intellectual failure" was inevitable. Then we examine the list of FSA staff, a large proportion of them are former BofE who in turn have employed even more bankers, does that create bias?

FT.com / Columnists / Lombard - FSA ensures lessons of RBS boardroom stay unlearnt

FT.com / Columnists / Lombard - FSA ensures lessons of RBS boardroom stay unlearnt


We have to ask whether the Act which empowers the regulators is sound, if it is then why do the executives of these failed banks get away with the proverbial blue murder while small firms are being hounded out of existence for doing no wrong.

Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see less of this each day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Treasury Select Committee has turned into a tiger - Telegraph

Treasury Select Committee has turned into a tiger - Telegraph

A few months ago the TSC was a laughing stock, now it is the powerful regulator of regulators we have always needed.

Long live the Treasury Select Committee, no longer the governemnet puppet.

Have faith in Andrew Tyrie and the members.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

'FSA never wanted to ban interest-only' | News | Money Marketing

'FSA never wanted to ban interest-only' | News | Money Marketing

Sheila, it should be a matter for the lender and the borrower to decide what terms are suitable, it would be really wonderful if the regulator was independent and took little notice of what HM Treasury hands down to them for implementation after the banks fall down a hole.

The problem was wholesale funding, a wall of money looking for a home, if this had been stemmed early on by the regulators the mess we see before us now might not have been so immense.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sants: RDR will not lead to third of IFAs exiting the profession - Citywire

Sants: RDR will not lead to third of IFAs exiting the profession - Citywire

The problem with 'systemic control' is that you need to be able to spot 'trends' and to move quickly to guide the participants in these areas very early on and not wait until all you have to deal with is the aftermath. A prime example is the wholesale funding of lending which overheated and was there for all to see yet nothing was done for reasons unknown. There are many other trends which have been developing and are apparently still not on the regulatory radar, well I can't see any evidence to show that they are under scrutiny.

As far as the method of remuneration which is agreed by the adults who are party to the advice process is concerned I don't see how things will dramatically change, there are many ways to skin a cat as the saying goes. Yes there have been problems with firms who focus on generating commission but these can be 'trends' as mentioned above, in many cases that I spotted the problem was provider influence and the greed of the firms that have since folded and their liabilities have ended up on the backbreaking burden of the FSCS, those providers are unlikely to return to their old ways for a number of reasons, extinction being one of them. I predict another trend, or two, caused by the RDR which will lead to consumer detriment, I may be wrong but I am not the only one who can see this, my Scottish friend is the 'oracle' of financial services, he predicted all this mess back in 1985, yes he spotted all the 'trends' back then, his favourite cartoon is Snoopy lying on top of his kennel saying 'nobody listens', it is my favourite too, spooky! I believe nobody listens because it isn't what they want to hear.

We can only hope that the next regulatory environment is more effective than what we have experienced over the last two and a half decades.

Monday, November 22, 2010

IFAs must not take FSA authorisation decisions lying down | Opinion | Money Marketing

IFAs must not take FSA authorisation decisions lying down | Opinion | Money Marketing

When the FSA wrote to the sponsoring firms saying they were refusing to accept the proposed AR they also said that if the applicant went to the RDC and it found in favour of the FSA the register would show this forvere, a 'BAN' if you like, I considered that to be a form of blackmail.

The FSA has lost the plot, will the next reincarnation be any diferent? I doubt that simply because the same people will simply be wearing a diferent badge.

There is another way but the architects of the previous failed regulators are feathering their nests onec again by assisting the new government in designing a 'new' structure.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Principality calls for balanced approach from FSA - Business News - Business - WalesOnline

Principality calls for balanced approach from FSA - Business News - Business - WalesOnline

Well done Principality, I wish more lenders would speak out.

The FSA is only following orders handed down by HM Treasury before the change of government, it was a knee jerk reaction to the banking crisis which was created by wholesale funding, that is all over now but the FSA is misguided because what it says, or even merely implies, pushes lenders to the fringes, away from risks, away from the type of consumers who in the past have benefitted from the flexibility afforded by sensible lenders, lenders who are now suffering the collateral damage caused by irresponsible lenders. In the end it is the consumer who loses out.

Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see less each day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

FSA: "We have listened on RDR" | News | Money Marketing

FSA: "We have listened on RDR" | News | Money Marketing

Listening is making an effort to hear something, what you do after you have heard it is another matter altogether, whether you understand what you hear impacts upon the decision you arrive at, if some of what you hear is louder than anything else you hear it can influence the outcome.

In my humble opinion you may have listened but you didn't hear it all in a way which would ensure you arrived at a balanced and logical conclusion.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sesame Bankhall slams "intrusive" FSA | News | Money Marketing

Sesame Bankhall slams "intrusive" FSA | News | Money Marketing

Comment copied from elsewhere:

He said: “We have an intrusive regulator that has been criticised, broken up and rebadged; a regulator accused of failing in its duties when needed most.”

Hoban takes advice from a string of bankers, advisers to bankers and former FSA officials.
The word is "rebadged" and just look at how the old school is designing the new school.

His nine strong team includes:

Michael Foot, former FSA managing director;

Carol Sergeant, chief risk director at Lloyds Banking Group; and

Nick Prettejohn, former Prudential UK chief executive.

Davide Taliente, partner at Oliver Wyman,

Simon McGuire, former vice chairman of UBS's investment banking division,

Jonathan Herbert, former head of European law at the FSA

Amanda Harvie former chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise,

Teresa Perchard, director of public policy for Citizens Advice; and

John Tattersall former chairman of financial services regulatory practice at PwC.

NB: Foot, Sergeant and Herbert are all ex FSA, Tattershall is the former boss at PWC when Hoban and Chris Cummings were both there, Sergent, Taliente and McGuire either bankers or advise bankers.

This is a small club and guess who’s not in it – the IFA! The sum total of this groups reads to me like a pro RDR, FSA and banking club.

NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WANT TO KILL THE IFA OFF?
**********************

No idea who compiled this list, I only know the first one and he is bad enough, ask the IFAs who have met him.

Regulation is bust because the same people redesign the same wheel over and over again, the crises get bigger and bigger.

FTAdviser.com - Hoban calls for financial services to "reconnect"

FTAdviser.com - Hoban calls for financial services to "reconnect"

Are you proud of your regulators Mr Hoban?

PM pledges to stand up for financial services 'at every turn' | News | Money Marketing

PM pledges to stand up for financial services 'at every turn' | News | Money Marketing

Are you proud of your regulators Mr Cameron? Therein lies your problem.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Get a sense of reality | Opinion | Money Marketing

Get a sense of reality | Opinion | Money Marketing

Mike Fenwick | 12 Nov 2010 2:20 pm

An article which includes words or phrases such as "IFA militant tendency" and "loonies" and attaches such descriptions, without qualification, to all of those who are interested in whether RDR is fit for purpose and who seek to question it, is in itself calling into question the honesty and integrity of such individuals.

A point which I suspect may have escaped you, Nic, and is very worthy of your consideration imho.

May I remind you of something you said on the 23rd July this year.

"What I’m hearing is that, yes, the regulator’s internal discussions recognise the RDR proposals will affect the number of consumers able to obtain independent financial advice in future. We all know why that might happen, so I won’t discuss it here."

Is it in any way suitable to describe as "loony" those who have genuine concerns that RDR will, if unchallenged, diminish the consumer's ability to obtain independent financial advice?

That article also included these extracts:

"Lansons director of regulatory consulting Richard Hobbs told a conference in London the FSA “considered scrapping the RDR at a board meeting in March but decided to push on with plans for fear of losing face”."

"Hobbs claimed: “I have to say, it only just survived an executive committee meeting in March at the FSA. The FSA are not particularly proud of the RDR but it is a question of losing face, so I think they will carry on.”

I don't know this, but I suspect the more recent interest of MPs in the subject of the RDR has as much, if not more, to do with the consumer interests I mention above as it does to the future of IFAs, and even were my suspicions wrong, the two are undoubtedly connected, and negatively, not positively, affected by RDR.

The dire economic circumstances we all find ourselves in at present, and for the forseeable future had many causes, but it cannot have escaped your notice that there was a complete failure of effective regulatory process.

Is it therefore in any way "loony" to question and challenge those whose failure is a matter of record, and whose failure is now simply left for everyone else to foot the bill?

Or is it with the very sense of reality that you claim to seek that they should be challenged every step of the way, to attempt to ensure that what follows is not a repeat of the past?

RDR proposals which do not enhance, but quite openly and deliberately diminish the abilities of the consumer to obtain independent financial advice should be challenged, and alternatives found - not least because it is the very failures of the regulators who have left us with an economic mess which has increased the need for just such advice.

Well done Mike

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FSCS spent £280,000 on Keydata judicial review | News | Money Marketing

FSCS spent £280,000 on Keydata judicial review | News | Money Marketing


Since I began my fight for fair play back in 2002 many very eminent people outside the industry have gone from being dismissive of my claims to being quite shocked that such unfairness can exist for only one chosen vocation in a country which prides itself on justice being seen to be done.

Yes Hector, these issues of unfairness need your urgent attention.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FOS case may be heard in European Court of Human Rights - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire#448158

FOS case may be heard in European Court of Human Rights - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire#448158

CirrusPilot

If you were a regulated person prior to October 1998 you were given a choice, to sign your rights away or to walk away which many did after reading what Gordon Brown's lawyers had put forward, no trade body or adviser outcry then was there? No furore as the Financial Services and Markets Bill went through 1,200 amendents in Parliament and not a peep when the Henry VIII clause was added at the last minute.

One of the few people who was genuinely concerned about all this was the current Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, in my humble opinion he remains the only person who will side with reason.

One adviser firm has an opportunity to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights, another is due to find out soon whether it too will be heard.

If only I had been allowed the time and money to make a difference, unfortunately IFAs expect these tasks to be carried out in someone else's time with someone else's money, that is their downfall, well one of them, another is their inability to work together.

Homeowners to become ‘mortgage prisoners’ under FSA lending rules plan - Personal Finance - Business - WalesOnline

Homeowners to become ‘mortgage prisoners’ under FSA lending rules plan - Personal Finance - Business - WalesOnline

If Wales obtains 'more powers' could it be in charge of its own regulation? Smaller countries do well from having their own financial regime so come on Welsh Assembly Government, show us how it could be done.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One in ten pensioners still going out to work to pay the mortgage | Mail Online

One in ten pensioners still going out to work to pay the mortgage | Mail Online

This is misleading, do over 65s or anyone else for that matter receive rent-free accommodation? No they don't, what is the difference between a mortgage, iterest only or otherwise, and rent?

The regulators and their political masters are going make a complete hash of everything with their MMR, and the RDR, and anything else.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Housebuilders and lenders criticise FSA as likely to create 'mortgage famine' | Business | The Guardian

Housebuilders and lenders criticise FSA as likely to create 'mortgage famine' | Business | The Guardian

This is an example of New Labour government policy being handed down by HM Treasury for the FSA to implement. It is a knee-jerk reaction to the hysteria which followed the collapse of Northern Rock and other lenders who lost the plot under the watch of the sleeping regulators.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Mcflipping point | Opinion | Money Marketing

The Mcflipping point Opinion Money Marketing


Someone once described gathering IFAs to speak as one as being akin to "herding cats".

I have tried to imagine a more difficult creature to "herd", how about sharks? No, Mike says you can use a piece of bleeding meat to gather them, how about slugs? No, Mike says you can use some lettuce... what can you use to gather IFAs?

Well, some like commission, some like fees, some like exams, some like blogs...

More than anything else they like to express their version of what is right or wrong, whether they are right or wrong, because they are always right!

Can you tell me whether your vision of the future and what the FSA is trying to achieve is what the man on the Clapham Omnibus wants, or needs?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bank admits to errors in its forecasting

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bank-admits-to-errors-in-its-forecasting-2118402.html

The deputy governor of the Bank of England, Charles Bean, has admitted that the recession "highlighted shortcomings" in the Bank's economic forecasting models.
He said that even had the Bank considered the possibility that the economy could shrink by more than 6 per cent, as actually happened, the Bank would have put the chances as being "virtually negligible".

"One would need to be endowed with perfect foresight to have been able to predict how the financial crisis would unfold, spilling over from one institution to another, and from one market to another," he added. "Who knows what would have happened if, for instance, Lehman Brothers had successfully found a buyer that weekend in September 2008?"


Is he saying that nobody can see into the future?
 
These will be the top dogs in regulatory circles, they have all the power, the knowledge and the data yet they can’t be held accountable for their failure to forecast problems.

Yet, the regulators pillory small IFAs for not being able to forecast changes which took place after they gave advice in good faith under what was known as a “reasonably held opinion” many years ago.

MM leader: Engage with IFAs rather than scoring cheap points | Opinion | Money Marketing

MM leader: Engage with IFAs rather than scoring cheap points | Opinion | Money Marketing


A message from The IFA Defence Union

"Some politicians, a committee and their Chairman do engage.

Contrary to what your supposedly representative bodies say there is a need to provide real examples of how regulation is strangling you and militating your ability to do more for larger numbers of consumers.

Send us your thoughts, they can be made in confidence so that the regulators can't get back at you or you can be brave and let the politicians publish your feelings.

Make the most of the increasing pressure being applied to a failed regulatory system, make sure it doesn't continue as it has, or gets no worse."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why we must back UK plc - Telegraph

Why we must back UK plc - Telegraph

"Build wealth"?

For who? Or is it whom?

Is it the Man on the Clapham Omnibus? Or is it those at the top of the biggest Ponzi scheme of all?

Who notices these cuts? Cameron? Osborne? Hoban? Cable? HM Treasury? The FSA? The bankers? The City?

Who notices the taxes? Up goes VAT, down goes child benefit, who feels the pain?

Us, not them, not the 'Masters of the Universe', they are so divorced from the daily grid down here that we may as well not exist, like worker ants, or the host for all those parasites up top.

Time to look at this from the bottom up?

Bankers 'caused credit crisis for kicks' - Telegraph

Bankers 'caused credit crisis for kicks' - Telegraph

They are drug dealers, pushers, society is hooked on their drugs, from the top down, from Downing Street, the 'Masters of the Universe' can be compared to the criminal fraternity and their assets should be seized in order to repay the long suffering and ever so 'umble taxpayer.

All these bright sparks, the politicians and their banking buddies, the regulators, Lord Turner et al, yes the lot of them are a 'Collective Intellectual Failure", a pox on society.

We the people need some balance, I see less each day.

City fears new Bank of England powers will hit democracy - Telegraph

City fears new Bank of England powers will hit democracy - Telegraph

"Democracy", you 'avin a larf sir? Can anybody tell me when we ever had 'democracy'? It is a mirage dreamed up by the powerful and the wealthy, the rest of us merely exist day to day in order to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

Society is in dire need of balance, I see less each day.

Keydata bonds may destroy my factory: Successful manufacturer fights to survive investment disaster | Mail Online

Keydata bonds may destroy my factory: Successful manufacturer fights to survive investment disaster | Mail Online

From the Lampott site:

"Richard is an appropriately qualified (by advanced examination) pensions specialist"

The FSA is insisting that "advanced qualifications" be taken by all advisers in order to "raise standards" and "provide better outcomes for consumers".

Mark Hoban likened current adviser qualifications to "the same level as a diploma in shift management offered by McDonald's".

Well Mr Hoban, and Lord Turner, I only have FPC but despite my lowly qualifications I would never have advised this firm to invest even £5 in the Lifemark backed black hole.

Common sense and experience are more valuable than "advanced qualifications", the sooner you realise this the better it will be for the nation, if you look at all the brains at HM Treasury, the BofE and the FSA you can see that all those bright sparks failed spot the banking crises, Equitable et al. A trail of "Collective Intellectual Failure" of gigantic proportions and they get bigger each time!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

MPs frustrated with RDR trade body grilling | News | Money Marketing

MPs frustrated with RDR trade body grilling | News | Money Marketing

Of course people are scared of the FSA, it is the most powerful regulator on the planet.

Give a human being this power and he/she will abuse it, in this case by simply ignoring common sense, this applies in all cases were regulators control the regulated, take any business which has to adhere to ever more prescriptive regulations and you will find businessmen and their representative bodies who are fearful of 'inspectors' who can often be vindictive. IFAs suffer from the most onerous regulation in return for causing the least consumer detriment, is that fair and reasonable?

Is there balance?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moneysavingexpert.com founder echoes fears RDR will cut access to advice | News | Money Marketing

Moneysavingexpert.com founder echoes fears RDR will cut access to advice | News | Money Marketing

I have been told that Martin is a very successful man, made a fortune doing what he believes in, all completely unregulated.

He is right that an IFA is better than a tied agent for many reasons, primarily due to the choice of whole of market.

A senior FSA Director told me a bank's payment protection insurance was 'better than nothing' when I was describing the lack of choice with regard to income protection products offered by banks.

There is a distinct lack of understanding, appreciation and knowledge of what an IFA can do among regulators and politicians alike. They are wearing cloth ears.

Backbench MPs continue attack on the RDR | News | Money Marketing

Backbench MPs continue attack on the RDR | News | Money Marketing

Anyone else watch the recent programme on CH4 "Undercover Boss USA" - featuring the CEO of the 7/11 empire going undercover in the 7/11 outlets as a novice employee?

One store he visited sold more coffee than any other 7/11 store and he wanted to discover why - he didn't think it was the coffee, because it had the same coffee as every other store.

What he found was a manageress at that store who knew every customer, knew them by their first names, knew about their families, their ups and downs in life, their background and their future plans - it was that unique person and the relationships she had built with the customers that sustained that business.

Maybe, one day Mr Hoban might just spend time undercover with the IFAs who have established just those types of relationships with their clients. Yes, some will have passed exams, and some will not, but it is the relationships and the trust involved that provides the value to the IFA and the clients.

You never know, one day Mr Hoban will indeed wake up and smell the coffee - and ask himself, just as the CEO of 7/11 did

- why IFAs (exam passed or not) have the share of the markets that they do have, and others don't.

- and the high level of complaints that they don't have, and others do.

By Mike Fenwick

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TSC MPs warn of RDR abandoning IFAs | News | Money Marketing#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments

TSC MPs warn of RDR abandoning IFAs | News | Money Marketing#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments#comments

Committee member and Labour MP for Leeds East George Mudie said he represented constituents very unhappy about the RDR. Addressing Sinclair and Gazzard, he said: “I have a lad in his late 50s who has been in the industry for 20 years and you have left him abandoned because he is not passing the exams. He is out of a job.

“Is there an effort being made to get an assessment system that will rescue these lads and lasses who have been in this industry for many years and are now stranded and are not able to work in the future?

“You are saying there is a way forward but there are difficulties, are you intent on getting that way forward or is this just words?”




IS IT ILLEGAL?

Friday, October 15, 2010

FT Alphaville » What’s going on inside the FSA?

FT Alphaville » What’s going on inside the FSA?

Er.... does anyone remember the few hundred years before financial services regulation? Has regulation improved our lot? Is it true that all we have to show for all this regulation is thousands of regulators staring into the abyss? I wonder if the Monty Python team could do a sketch on regulation along the lines of "What have the Romans ever done for us? Or the Judean People's Front, or was the the People's Front of Judea? Who cares, we are in a mess and until regulation is based upon what society needs instead of all this top down 'Collective Intellectual Failure' we will continue to chew the cud and get absolutely nowhere.

Planning Portal - HBF chief warns of ‘anti-development feeling’

Planning Portal - HBF chief warns of ‘anti-development feeling’

More regulatory arbitrage doomed to failure.

Grand stands | Analysis | Money Marketing

Grand stands | Analysis | Money Marketing

If the adviser sector had stood as one and offered a home cooked solution the regulators would have listened and given it a chance.

The fact that the likes of Ken and Martin have their own agenda and refuse point blank to accept that you are all in the same boat is the reason why the loudest voices get heard, simply because they have the money (CII etc).

It is frustrating to watch but I am glad I am not regulated, I bet Ken is too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hoban backs RDR move to fees - IFAonline

Hoban backs RDR move to fees - IFAonline

I can see where he is coming from.

But can he see where he is going to?

Yes there are problems with commission, there are also problems with fees, even if the advice was free there would be issues.

The RDR misses the target and the man with the crossbow is using a blindfold.

Top down regulation has failed, is failing and will forever fail.

Until what the consumer needs is the driving force behind regulation the efforts of Mr Hoban and his successors are doomed to failure, unfortunately it is society which pays the price for the failure of their elected representatives.

FTAdviser.com - Shapps fears locking another generation out of properties

FTAdviser.com - Shapps fears locking another generation out of properties

Organised chaos once again, par for the course for all these intellectuals. Another example of what Clive Briault described as a "Collective Intellectual Failure".

We have the FSA hammering the nails in the housing industry’s mortgage coffin, we have Pickles ripping out the heart of the already dead planning system, we have Hoban off doing his own thing, we have Turner blaming the ‘bad policy’ which he allowed to be implemented, we have Shapps blaming the “housing boom’ for all our ills while at the same time saying we can’t exclude another generation from the housing market.

I can’t see any joined up thinking, do you?

Let’s start at the bottom, chop up all this ‘top down’ regulation, it hasn’t worked, it isn’t working and it won’t work.

Let’s look at what the people need, let’s make a list and work out how we can provide it instead of faffing about with rules, regulations, restrictions and flawed legislation.

Go on, make a list, what are Joe Public’s priorities, need some hints? Well, they don’t have the same desires as bankers, politicians or regulators so we’ll scrap that lot straight away.

Do we need a revolution? Of sorts yes, but do the three monkeys want it?

NO

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paul Killik: The FSA is killing advisory stockbroking - Citywire

Paul Killik: The FSA is killing advisory stockbroking - Citywire

When I asked Hector what the RDR was all about he said "we thought if we raised standards everyone could become stockbrokers".

Is Mr Killick telling me that the regulator is on the wrong path to Valhalla?

Personally I wonder how a percentage of the sale of stocks is any different to any other form of commission, if the stockbroker advises the client to do nothing he doesn't earn any money, does he? It therfore follows that the cap does fit, you are indeed in the same box which is becoming more spacious by the week. Some might say that is what you get for being so full of self-interest, so blinkered, so short-sighted.

Barclays latest lender to defy FSA on PPI | News | Mortgage Strategy

Barclays latest lender to defy FSA on PPI | News | Mortgage Strategy

Par for the course isn't it!

When is the regulator going to nail these people once and for all, they grew fat on 'conditional' sales and now the worm has turned they are using the money to drag this out through the courts until the time runs out for their victims.

Comment: IFAs should not fear the fork in Standard's route ahead - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Comment: IFAs should not fear the fork in Standard's route ahead - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Pardon?

Standard Life signed up all sorts of tied muppets, Halifax for example, there were hordes of tied and now multitied agents, take Barclays for example.

The only fork I can perceive is the one in the tongue.

If Standard Lamp wants to win IFA friends and influence them it needs to make amends. Until then it will continue to see a net outflow of funds, which is probably why it is trying to flog off its 'investment' arm... er... who else announced a similar wheeze recently?

Lloyds risks FSA clash over customer PPI complaints - Telegraph

Lloyds risks FSA clash over customer PPI complaints - Telegraph

Can you imagine a government owned bank and a government controlled regulator having a 'clash', like one legged men in a bum kicking competition with a one legged referee...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FSA gains collective redress powers - Citywire

FSA gains collective redress powers - Citywire

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been granted the power to force businesses to establish collective redress schemes to compensate consumers and publicise enforcement actions earlier.

The power was created by the Financial Services Act 2010 and activated today along with others changes to the regulator. The FSA will use collective redress schemes where there is evidence of widespread failings following large numbers of claims made to the Financial Ombudsman Service over issues like Payment Protection Insurance.

‘This is an important new tool for the FSA, which increases our ability to get redress for consumers when firms have not followed our rules,’ said Sally Dewar (pictured), managing director of risk at the FSA. ‘The power would obviously be used proportionately. It is not a substitute for working with industry where there is the potential to bring an issue to a fair and speedy conclusion.’

The FSA has also acquired the power to publish decision notices ahead of final notices, which means that it can publicise enforcement actions rather than waiting for the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal to process appeals.

The Financial Services Act 2010 also removes the FSA’s statutory objective to promote public understanding of the financial system following the establishment of the Consumer Financial and Education Body.

Should be fun!!

Housing minister warns of letting down future generations | News | Money Marketing

Housing minister warns of letting down future generations | News | Money Marketing

I have no idea what his version of stability is, if you look at all the cuts facing families, the regulatory arbitrage over mortgages and the planning system hatchet job by Pickles you have to wonder where this 'stability' is coming from and what form it is expected to take.

I don't think they want to be voted in again, do you? Wilfully putting millions of homeowners in negative equity is not they way to win friends.

Lloyds snubs FSA as it puts PPI claims on hold - Telegraph

Lloyds snubs FSA as it puts PPI claims on hold - Telegraph


What is needed here is a class action by their 'customers', but will they be brave enough to confront their banks? We all know what they are like when it comes to "do you want to make this a formal complaint?", "have you considered finding another banking facility before you do?". The banks don't abide by DISP rules and yet they get away with it, why is that?

Come on FSA do what you do best, squeeze them where it hurts, threaten to ban them from selling insurance full stop.

Buy-to-let: the elephant in the room? «

Buy-to-let: the elephant in the room? «

Homelessness, inadequate housing, decrepit dwellings, a growing population, a collapsed banking system, a new and naive government, millions of opinions - all different.

In there we might find some balance but I can't be bothered to look, why? Too many flaming regulators, from planning departments to the ultimate bogeyman, the FSA, we are being pulled in all directions because we lack leadership with vision, none of them know what to do, that is my biggest disappointment after voting Tory for the fist time in my life.

PPI rules open door to retrospective regulation, says BBA | News | Money Marketing

PPI rules open door to retrospective regulation, says BBA | News | Money Marketing

The PPI gravy train has hit the buffers, it only took two decades, where would we be without regulation? We might be a lot better of without any regulation, much better than bad regulation and Adair Turner's 'Bad policy'.

Come on bankers, give the 'consumers' their money back and pay back the bonuses you have earned off the back of these 'conditional sales'.

I'll stand up in court when asked

Monday, October 11, 2010

IFAs helping Keydata clients face PII backlash - IFAonline

IFAs helping Keydata clients face PII backlash - IFAonline

Why is every man and his dog blaming every other man and his dog for all this?

All the while the FSA stays silent..

Is that what regulation is all about? Point, fine and ban?

One senior FSA figure told me they had a limited set of tools, you may wonder where 'tools' were mentioned in the FSMA 2000, you may wonder whether that tome of legislation created a regulator powerful enough to.. er... regulate.

Blame the lawyers and the politicians, they created this mess and they and the same architects of previous collapsed edifices will no doubt do the same thing again with the next 'new' regulator.

Linda Robson: 'I should have put away more money when I had it’ - Telegraph

Linda Robson: 'I should have put away more money when I had it’ - Telegraph


DON'T YOU HAVE A PENSION?
Yes. I started putting money into a pension plan about 12-15 years ago, but I don't know how well it's been doing. It's like I've got dyslexia when it comes to figures. When I sit in a meeting with a financial adviser I'm always feeling I don't want to listen – it just seems like too much effort. I had to be persuaded to buy our first house, for example, but I'm glad I did that now.


PERSUADED


It isn't the same as SALES

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Update from Mike Fenwick

Before my more detailed comments, I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to two people - Evan Owen and Rod Leonard for the support they have given me, whilst I carried out the research against which I make the comments below.

The jury is out on whether I should thank them for encouraging me back into a world of regulatory insanity, one that I thought I had left - altho' in more recent posts here, you will have seen me say that I had started and intended to continue.

Let me first make this distinction - it is something I recorded in a very early post on here - I do not believe that all IFAs, and their actions can be defended, I do however believe in financial advice which is truly independent.

You may not have seen this article in Money Marketing:

http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/adviser-news/ifas-must-break-the-pattern-of-top-down-financial-hierarchy/1018926.article

It was as Evan commented, edited from the draft I sent to MM, but it does contain two sentences which I wish to highlight - these:

As an IFA, think of the FSCS. Your survival requires you to account for your own liabilities but also pay for the failures (undetected by the regulators) of everyone else. Similarly, the public must cough up for its own liabilities and for the failures (again undetected) of the banks.

There can be no IFA who is unaware of the issues over the costs of the FSCS etc etc.

Equally there can be nobody in the UK who is unaware of the costs arising from the collapse of the Banks.

They are both issues where the innocent are asked to pay for the costs of the guilty.

I have another article to prepare for MM - in which I will start to offer suggestions as to how the FSCS could be totally reformed - apologies, but details have to wait until I have agreed the position with MM.

Now, I doubt whether most, if not all, IFAs would understand why I am targeting the issue of bank charges, but there is for me a very valid reason and it ties in with the distinction I drew above.

Good IFAs take on the problems of their clients, and broker their clients through the complexities of the financial world - it is that in that performance that they have value and add value.

In time I will attempt to show how by targeting one issue, in this case Bank charges, it is possible for IFAs, by resolving that issue for others, they can also address the issues they themselves face.

Are they same issues?

Well, here is an extract:

Referring to both the OFT and the FSA, and in particular to the waiver issued by the FSA, I ended my last post with this question:

What is it in the nature of their relationship, that allows them:

- complete control over the rights to justice of ordinary people,
- and the power to halt Courts of Justice stone dead in their tracks! Something not even Governments find easy to do.

Do IFAs feel that the FSA have complete control over their rights to justice?

Do IFAs feel that the FSA and the FOS can halt the Courts of Justice stone dead in their tracks?

And yet in that extract - I am not writing about IFAs directly, but about the millions of ordinary members of the public who have been denied their rights on this issue of bank charges.

Where is that extract from? A blog I am writing which can be found here:

http://notproven.blogspot.com/

The blog is very much work in progress, and I wish to see it finished asap. Then I will advocate the next steps - for those who are interested in restoring some sanity to the world of regulation, for themselves, AND the wider public.

Mike ...


PS: The FSA, OFT, Treasury Select Committee and others have been made aware of the blog, and whilst not yet complete I am now extending the list of those who I think need to be made aware of its existence. If any of you who are reading this post wish to advise others (who may not be on this IFADU list) of its content, please feel free to do so.

Reforming the Regulators - Adam Smith Institute

'..the annual cost of regulation to the British economy was an astonishing 10–12 per cent of GDP.....The economist Elaine Sternberg has observed that: ‘Regulation is typically part of the problem, not the solution. ..........One of the reasons for the failure of the regulatory agencies is the nebulous accountability regime. A House of Lords Select Committee inquiry into market regulators concluded that, paradoxically, they are accountable to everyone and no one.... Regulators should draw up strategic plans for reverting first to having only an economic, competitive market creating, role, and then their own demise. The costs of new non-economic regulation should be transferred to national or local government. Following the closure of each regulator, its remaining responsibilities should be transferred to the OFT.

Reforming the Regulators

George Osborne warns banks of new taxes - Telegraph

George Osborne warns banks of new taxes - Telegraph

Why do bankers receive bonuses in the first place? Aren't they lucky enough as it is to have a decent wage coming in? Do they know how high feelings are running right now while ordinary people who witness this culture of greed are being expected keep bailing the banks out?

FSA to fight banks over judicial review of PPI probe - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

FSA to fight banks over judicial review of PPI probe - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Come on banks, hold your hands up, admit your guilt, stop faffing about.

And while you are at it how about reclaiming all those bonuses paid to bankers for flogging these useless policies?

I wonder how many 'customers' have managed to get a claim paid under these PPI contracts? I bet it is ZERO.

80% commission, good little earner, particularly when they own the insurer too!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Regulatory creep warning over rise in FOS award limit | News | Money Marketing

Regulatory creep warning over rise in FOS award limit | News | Money Marketing


CMS Cameron McKenna partner Simon Morris says: “The increase in the maximum award to £150,000 is concerning to the industry when FOS decisions are taken with limited due process.”

I haven't found any due process.

Aifa calls role of FOS into question | News | Money Marketing

Aifa calls role of FOS into question | News | Money Marketing

More "Issues of fairness" Hector?

The legal profession has an Ombudsman award limit of £30,000 when in practice, yet IFAs in retirement face awards of £150,000.

Is that "fair and reasonable", I would contend that it isn't.

The FSCS limit is far lower.

This compensation machine will become your prison, and theirs.

The malady lingers on | Opinion | Money Marketing

The malady lingers on | Opinion | Money Marketing

Talking about the FOS, journalists etc, what did you do with the Consumers Association samples of Which? magazine that I sent you when asked publicly for some Nic? You remember, the topic was did Which? have mortgage endowment 'best buys'. There are lots of such articles relating to guaranteed income/growth bonds, pensions, you name it. I can't publish because Which? set their legal dog, or dogs, on me. I also have articles from national papers describing the benefits of investments which bombed eventually.

What I am trying to say is that it doesn't matter if an adviser had an 'honestly held opinion' (so did the regulators at the time) that this or that product or investment was suitable for Mr & Mrs Public the FOS can, and more than often does, make it all up after the event and the adviser can't defend him/her self. For those of you standing outside this compensation machine which has become a prison it is a fact that you can't see the wood for the trees.

Having said all that I do agree with you that there are more useless advisers than you can shake John Tiney's big stick at. But there are also some highly opinionated journos with selective memory syndrome.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Advisers slam BBC Panorama pension probe | News | Money Marketing

Advisers slam BBC Panorama pension probe | News | Money Marketing

Raj Patel - You should spill the beans to the FSA and stop inserting more imbalance into this heated debate.

Yes commission has caused immeasurable problems but the 'concept' was sold by the providers, it is a 'drug' and they are the drug dealers, that is why the FSA wants to remove provider influence, the likes of Berkeley Independent Advisers, Berkeley Jacobs and Berkeley Berry Birch showed the regulators how unsavoury this business can be. Funny how many 'Berkeleys' there are among the cadavers littering the financial landscape!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More than 7,000 complaints lodged against banks every day - Telegraph

More than 7,000 complaints lodged against banks every day - Telegraph

Once upon a time a banker told me they built in "complaints shrinkage" of more than 5% of all new business, a bit like shops and shoplifting but more perverse, yes it is par for the course but the fact is that 90% of those who might have a valid complaint are too afraid to risk losing their 'facility'. As one recent complainant to saverjustice said: "the man at the call centre asked me if I wanted to make the complaint 'formal' and if i did it woudl be best to find another bank who would take me in, he suggested the Co-Op". let's look at this carefully, the FSA rules say that a complaint is an expression of disatisfaction whether made orally or in writing, the bank rep wanted the complainant to make it "formal" which means the banks own "rules" do not comply with the regulations. When I met the FSA I asked how many FSA staff supervise the banks the lady said "we have sixteen people supervising Barclays and they only look at the prudential requirements". I was stunned, still am, how on earth can the FSA ensure that the sales processes and complaints handling of the banks is up to its standards (whatever they are on a given day) when they only have sixteen people supervising a bank with more than 50,000 employees all on targets and bonuses?

To me the FSA loks like the local police force, they use up all their resorces on paperwork and easy targets, in the FSA's case it is the small IFA firms who as it happens 'generate' a tiny fraction of teh complaints.

Regulation is bust, society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see less each day.

By the way, I am a regulatory consultant with almost three decades of experience in bad regulation created by bad government policy, blame the people you vote for and the 'architects' they employ who created every duff regulator to date and will create the next one.. oh and the same regulators (people) who have been around as long as I have.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Standard Life aims to double direct business by 2015 - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Standard Life aims to double direct business by 2015 - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Where would they be without depolarisation MkII, son of depolarisation, depolarisation rides again, depolarisation the sequel, AKA - RDR??

If they have so many "Orphans' now can anybody guess how many there will be post RDR? No? Don't care? Then you must be a regulator or someone who thinks the world will be their cockle and millions of consumers will be flocking to your offices. It is a mirage.

Yes another "Collective Intellectual Failure", pronounced syph.

Andrew Tyrie MP: the man scrutinising regulation of banks - Citywire#435777#435777

Andrew Tyrie MP: the man scrutinising regulation of banks - Citywire#435777#435777

Tomothy Burton: Standard Life was not 'named and shamed' until well after the sales of mortgage endowments fell off the cliff. It was me who uncovered this discrepancy between what Standard Life used to produce illustrations and the actual charges which created the built-in shortfall. What did the regulator do about this? It fought tooth and nail to prevent the release of information which would have resulted in the collapse of so many financial institutions who had bought into this Ponzi scheme.

But what has the FSA said about bank charges? Are they fair or not? Technically the FSA said they are unfair, publicly no such admission, no fines, no bans, nothing.

Make no mistake, the British consumer is not protected by regulation, the banks are though. Is this all for the common good? Is it right that the bankers carry on as if nothing had happened? Well, the regulators end up with a big 'banking' job so why rock the boat?

If anyone can prove to me that splitting the banks up will make any difference then they have my vote, until then perhaps they should leave our shores because we can't afford them, make sure they pay the taxpayer back first!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

FSCS rejects compensation claims for Arc, NDF and DRL investors | News | Money Marketing

FSCS rejects compensation claims for Arc, NDF and DRL investors | News | Money Marketing

"External advice"? A dartboard perhaps?

I'm sure that many advisers who avoided these "esoteric and opaque" (Martin's words) products will breathe a sigh of relief, I know some firms who will be in a pickle though and if they fell over there would be a flood, nay a tsunami heading the way of the FSCS.

This compensation machine will become your prison, and theirs.

Andrew Tyrie MP: the man scrutinising regulation of banks - Citywire

Andrew Tyrie MP: the man scrutinising regulation of banks - Citywire

Mr Tyrie is without a shadow of doubt the best man for the job of scutinizing what lesser mortals might want to do in the name of regulation. I would hope that he carries enough weight, if not the binding power, to ensure that the architects of all previous failed attempts do not allow this country to go through what it has over the last two and a half decades, the catastrophes get bigger and more damaging as time goes by so it cannot be simply a matter of needing a new piece of legislation, we need strong management and removal of the civil service 'departmental' attitude where the ones put in charge have no control over the ones who are supposedly under him/her.

FSA calls for firms to appoint complaints manager | News | Money Marketing

FSA calls for firms to appoint complaints manager | News | Money Marketing

This is something which is lacking, particularly at the banks and direct sales outfits, but compliance, complaints - how many hats can a sole trader wear? I know, the Guinness records people count the number of underpants an individual can slip on in a certain time frame so why not have a record for the number of hats an IFA can wear in his working like while standing on one leg, with a brush you know where?

No, seriously folks, there is an imbalance in the claims industry where the FOS and other opponents can run rings round some IFAs, particularly the retired one who have no idea what this is all about. How about an independent arbitration scheme which is not binding and compulsory (which would make it compliant with Article 6) yet does carry some weight because it would be run in accordance with the law of the land.

Dream on.

Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see less each day.

FSA to increase FOS limit to £150k | News | Money Marketing

FSA to increase FOS limit to £150k | News | Money Marketing

This compensation machine will become your prison, and theirs.

What is AIFA doing about all this unfairness? It is bad enough for those currently authorised but my sole trader friends who have left the industry, some a decade or more ago, can't sleep, partly because of the never ending worry and partly because they have lost their homes, their families, their dignity.

I don't argue that one or two may have been irresponsible but the fact remains that a never ending liability which is judged using 100% hindsight by a computer decision tree is immoral and I would argue illegal, well I would wouldn't I..

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FT.com / Comment / Editorial - FSA misjudges media and markets

FT.com / Comment / Editorial - FSA misjudges media and markets

Regulation is bust, more "bad policy" Lord Turner?

U.K. Building Societies Attack FSA Plans to Limit Interest-Only Mortgages - Bloomberg

U.K. Building Societies Attack FSA Plans to Limit Interest-Only Mortgages - Bloomberg

And so they should, more "bad policy" Lord Turner?

Special report: Inside Britain's deathbonds scandal | Reuters

Special report: Inside Britain's deathbonds scandal | Reuters

Why is the FSCS paying out (with some uncertainty) on Keydata - Lifemark "investments" when in the opinion of many in the case of adviser involvement the advice was flawed in the first place?

Is it fair and reasonable that Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who avoided these products for good reason should compensate the customers of those who did sell these esoteric and opaque "investments"?

Inside Britain’s deathbonds scandal | Informed Choice

Inside Britain’s deathbonds scandal Informed Choice

I support Martin Bamford on this issue

A test for Turner | Opinion | Money Marketing

A test for Turner | Opinion | Money Marketing

Dear Lord Turner

Godfrey may have had a few glasses of wine too many but the end result is that he did speak his mind and he was right to question the efficacy of your institution.

I advise you and Hector to keep an eye on Mike Fenwick's blog because it may (more likely will) become your undoing, 'your' as in the "collective intellectual failure".

"I hope you will not be too disappointed"

FT.com / Personal Finance - Keydata investors can claim compensation

FT.com / Personal Finance - Keydata investors can claim compensation

"Eligible"

"Redress not yet quantified"

"Marketing Material" - most cases were based on advice.

Bank Charges

Has the FSA said that bank charges are fair or otherwise?

Aifa: FSCS should act quickly to ensure Lifemark costs are shared | News | Money Marketing

Aifa: FSCS should act quickly to ensure Lifemark costs are shared | News | Money Marketing

A deal was done?

Chris Cummings told me the 'fund managers didn't want to know', so the liability was added to IFAs who were PIA prior to N2 despite the fact that Keydata was IMRO prior to N2.

Something decidedly fishy going on between all parties to the 'negotiations' if you ask me, not that you will of course.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FT.com / UK - So many pieces in the financial services puzzle

FT.com / UK - So many pieces in the financial services puzzle

Good piece.

FSA revises draft rules on pure protection sales | News | Money Marketing

FSA revises draft rules on pure protection sales | News | Money Marketing

Good grief, what comes out of the FSA policy people appears to depend upon so many variables, the day of the week, the weather, the time of the month...

Blow to key Gwynedd housing policy - Caernarfon Herald

Blow to key Gwynedd housing policy - Caernarfon Herald

Another example of "bad policy" causing harm to innocent people.

Society is in dire need of balance, I see less each day.

Payback time | Analysis | Money Marketing

Payback time | Analysis | Money Marketing

Regulatory arbitrage, the regulators are justifying their existence prior to the 'new' regulatory system being introduced, very dangerous times, the world is their cockle.

What is the difference between an interest only mortgage and RENT? I'll tell you Mr & Mrs Regulator, if you don't already know, just ask.

FSA casual attack on the press is flawed - Telegraph

FSA casual attack on the press is flawed - Telegraph

Regulation on the hoof! Justifying their very existence with regulatory arbitrage, very dangerous times!!

FSA ready to defend hedge funds from EU pay rules - Telegraph

FSA ready to defend hedge funds from EU pay rules - Telegraph

Regulatory Arbitrage, the FSA has its friends who are looked after while the IFA is 'terminated'. Which sector is the most socially useless Mr Turner?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Free network firms | Opinion | Money Marketing

Free network firms | Opinion | Money Marketing

Nic, you need to read up on the Appointed Representatives Regulations 2001, an almost carbon copy of the 1986 version, it is a fact that ARs are exempt from regulation because they are contracted to introduce business to an IFA which has elected to become a network in order to accept these introductions for which they pay a split of commission, or take a split of fees, these are the regulations, not my imagination. Some people might argue that this is anti-competitive. Another fact is that the networks dominate the Council of AIFA which unfortunately results in the representatives of real IFAs being unable to get a word in edgeways.

As the network is the regulated firm (IFA) it is only allowed the specified number of ‘free’ FOS thingy’s. Until the legislation is changed you are wasting your breath, in fact I wonder why you have brought this long standing situation up in the first place, surely there are more important things to write about.

My worry is that many network ARs will be caught in the same net as the Park Row people and others if, or more likely when, the FSA demands a ‘skilled person’ examines the files the network has already deemed to be acceptable.

Should these IFAs go for direct FSA authorisation before they are ‘banned’ for life by these ‘skilled person’ reports which are based on what is deemed suitable advice relating to charges alone? Should they passport in from another EU state (not a panacea), or should they follow the lead of the CFEB?

Even if they survive the RDR an IFA smaller than mid cap is unlikely to survive the EU regulatory jackboots which will follow some years later, this includes all intermediaries whether they be in mortgages, insurance or even stock broking.

The regulated need one representative body, not the dozens that are out there plying their trade and getting nowhere, has Chris Cummings moved to the largest iceberg still afloat just in time?

MM Leader: Clients will be caught up in RDR confusion | Opinion | Money Marketing

MM Leader: Clients will be caught up in RDR confusion | Opinion | Money Marketing

Depolarisation Mk II, Son of Depolarisation, Depolarisation the Sequel, whichever way you put it the result is the same.

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried by calling it something else.

This is all about propping up the compensation machine which has become their prison, and yours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FTAdviser.com - FSA rejects Keydata £30m compensation plan

FTAdviser.com - FSA rejects Keydata £30m compensation plan

One day, soon I hope, the truth will be out

FT.com / Columnists / People - Lord Turner looks for a bit of spice

FT.com / Columnists / People - Lord Turner looks for a bit of spice

Dear Lord Turner

If you pay my expenses which should include a posh suit I will gladly follow you around and provide the 'spice'.

Turner: CPMA must balance choice with customer protection | News | Money Marketing

Turner: CPMA must balance choice with customer protection | News | Money Marketing

Dear Lord Turner.

What will be 'new' about this CPMA?

Same people, same culture, same misguided political influence.

Some of us may not be wealthy, have no peerage, have no futures, but we do have common sense unlike those of you who look down their noses at the rest of society which is having to deal with the mess your 'bad policy' created.

I'm losing the will to read all this garbage.

FSA fines advisers for Lehman-backed structured product sales | News | Money Marketing

FSA fines advisers for Lehman-backed structured product sales | News | Money Marketing

FSCS will say no to Keydata? Doesn't look good for those who recommended structured products to people who couln't afford to lose money, but then again who can? Coutts next? Frank Skinner and Jeremy Clarkson couldn't afford to lose £millions.

And:

"the partner at Thorntons responsible for compliance oversight, had no financial services experience"

Wait a minute, is it a fact that even post RDR there will be no requirement for those with compliance oversight to have any qualifications? Nor will FSA staff, officers and directors?

FSCS: shake-up for savings safety net - Telegraph

FSCS: shake-up for savings safety net - Telegraph

The fact that the FSCS exists and is mentioned by the purveyors of dodgy products as a 'guarantee' of some sort encourages people to take risks they would not normally contemplate. When they find out it doesn't meet their expectations as promised by the politicians there will be a backlash.

Is such a compensation scheme the only way to deal with failures in the financial sector? I don't think so but nobody is listening.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Keydata founder Stewart Ford calls for public investigation into PwC - Telegraph

Keydata founder Stewart Ford calls for public investigation into PwC - Telegraph

We will have to wait and see what comes of the "investigation by the FSA and SFO for his actions at Keydata".

Banks face new tax on bonuses - Telegraph

Banks face new tax on bonuses - Telegraph

The politicians, via their regulators, have decimated competition and created an 'elite' that people like Adair Turner are now 'warming' to for their own possible personal gain, Turner needs another big job in the 'City'. I am disappointed with Vince Cable who now apears to have lost his way, but I suppose it is par for the course for politicians who spent decades making sense in opposition and end up with some power.

The system is too big to fail but time and again it does and the great unwashed suffer the consequences while the fat get fatter.

FT.com / Columnists / Lombard - FSA’s change of tone will warm bankers

FT.com / Columnists / Lombard - FSA’s change of tone will warm bankers

"A year ago, the Financial Services Authority’s chairman was “Red” Adair Turner, the scourge of complacent banks, unearned bonuses and “socially useless” financial products. An audience of City worthies at the Mansion House gave his criticisms a very chilly reception.

The warmth is back. Speaking on Tuesday night, the financial regulator issued a sharp warning not chiefly to banks, but to policymakers and to society at large:"



Lord Adair Turner, what are you like? More U turns than Maggie Thatcher!! Are you now saying the socially useless activity was useful in as much as they were only 'drug dealers'?

Well, I suppose he does need friends in the City if he needs another stepping stone to his next big job and a new platform to pontificate from.

Politicians deserve more blame for bank crisis, says FSA chief - Scotsman.com#5607769#5607769

Politicians deserve more blame for bank crisis, says FSA chief - Scotsman.com#5607769#5607769

Dear Adair Turner, these 'bad policies' were handed down by said politicians via Her Majesty's Treasury to you at the Financial Services Authority for implementation, if you thought they were bad why didn't you say so at the time instead of telling us all now, after the event?

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Cable to take swipe at City greed

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Cable to take swipe at City greed

Capitalism is dead Mr Cable?

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - FSA’s Turner attacks poor policies

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - FSA’s Turner attacks poor policies

And there was me thinking it was BAD REGULATORS who were responsible, bad for allowing themsleves to be manupulated by the politicians.

Britons warned of £300bn pensions savings gap | Money | The Guardian

Britons warned of £300bn pensions savings gap | Money | The Guardian

We can blame our politicians and their regulators for decimating what was once the best private pension provision in Europe, all done in far less time than it took to build it up.

FSA's Turner Warns of Problems From Regulatory Changes - WSJ.com

FSA's Turner Warns of Problems From Regulatory Changes - WSJ.com

As the old saying goes (jumbled up like they are), they couldn't organize a brewery in a booze up.

Keydata - The 'investments'

Did Stewart Ford say that his family trust fund owns some life settlements? Was it implied that they are much better quality than those within Lifemark? Was he a director of Lifemark? If he has such an eye for quality investments to put in his own funds should he also have been in charge of the investment strategy of Lifemark, the vehicle which received the funds from his company Keydata?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Advantage Capital faces collapse without funding - Telegraph

Advantage Capital faces collapse without funding - Telegraph

Come on FSA, the law has agreed that one party to a contract has failed to meet the terms agreed. If any liability falls upon the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as a result of this breach of contract and you failed to ensure an orderly closure of this fund then this brings into question your ability to regulate, for the umpteenth time!!

Keydata compensation conumdrum

Who dunnit? Lots of people blame Stuart Ford, but is that right? Was it he who designed the products? His family trust has a large collection of these life settlements which used to be called "Viatical Settlements", he proposed a 'rescue' package which was rejected by the Financial Services Authority, it is reported that an FSA spokeperson said Ford was under investigation, does this preclude Ford from attempting to 'rescue' the investors?

Who pays? Most people expect the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to pay out because that is what the fund is for, but is that right? Why should IFAs who avoided these products be expected to pay for the acts or ommissions of those who did?

Who else can pay? Those who bought direct from Keydata are up a gumtree, those who were advised may have a claim against the adviser who sold them the bond/plan, the FOS award it twice that of the FSCS payout but if an IFA goes bust because of the claims then the FSCS pays out, supposedly.

The key is what decision does the FSCS arrive at? To pay or not to pay, that is the question. If it decides this week that it won't pay out then the likes of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) will face a barrage of complaints either directly or via Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal. If N&P has professional indemnity insurance then that will take the biggest burden of cost above the level of excess. If it doesn't have insurance the members will have to pay.

For small IFAs the story is quite different, they will be hoping the FSCS pays out but what about their PI insurance? What about the claims above the FSCS limit?

Is this what regulation is all about? Is this what consumers expect to happen when such a comprehensive regulatory regime is created by the people they elected to Parliament?

FSA appoints consumer education body chair | News | Money Marketing

FSA appoints consumer education body chair News Money Marketing

Hector Sants appoints social policy group Lemos & Crane partner Gerard Lemos as the chairman of the Consumer Financial Education Body.

Does this body need to be regulated?

Do the advisers need to be qualified as per RDR?

Who pays compensation if the advice turns out to be flawed?

Soon to be exposed corruption within government and regulators

http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DBFiles/Decision/i436/Cabinet%20Office%20v%20IC%20EA.2010.0031%20Decision%2013.09.10%20(w).pdf

Watch this space.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New fears over bank break-ups - Telegraph

New fears over bank break-ups - Telegraph

Top down regulation is the root cause of the lack of competition. What do the great unwashed need? Not this shambles and that is for sure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Regulatory Legal issues FSCS warning over Keydata | News | Money Marketing

Regulatory Legal issues FSCS warning over Keydata | News | Money Marketing

Where would we be without all that regulatory paperwork? I wonder what the pileometer reading is today.

Keydata victims' website resurrected after apology to Ford - Citywire

Keydata victims' website resurrected after apology to Ford - Citywire

Ford is promising a 'rescue', the person running this site only got a tiny proportion of his money back because of the maximum payout from the FSCS because he invested directly so I can't see how his desire for a rescue is balanced by the needs the majority of smaller investors who were 'advised' and are apparently following his lead. Ford posted a comment asking everyone to allow him to sort it out, I hope he does for the sakes of all the poor souls I have listened to.

Keydata's Ford: FSA's Rejection of Rescue Plan Cost SLS Investors

Keydata's Ford: FSA's Rejection of Rescue Plan Cost SLS Investors

Is this what they used to call a 'viatical settlement'?

I tried explaining how this 'investment' works to some very astute people, they comprehensively refused to accept that a market such as this could exist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FSA founder says scrapping regulator is a mistake | News | Money Marketing

FSA founder says scrapping regulator is a mistake | News | Money Marketing

Does the "FSA founder" not see the mess he left behind? The even bigger mess John Tiner made of it?

Regulation as we know it has failed.

Howard Davies' speeches and quotes often contain the phrase "end in failure".... quite, a "Collective intellectual failure", all the barins in the world and none appear to have any common sense or an ability to influence the "Collective" in a positive way.

Two consortiums to decide on Keydata bailout this week | News | Money Marketing

Two consortiums to decide on Keydata bailout this week | News | Money Marketing

How can N&P avoid liability? By using a smokescreen?

We have no idea what the FSA is up to, what the SFO is doing or what day it is, what a shambles.

And then there is Stewart Ford...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keydata Victims' Forum back online | News | Money Marketing

Keydata Victims' Forum back online | News | Money Marketing

How are the poor investors coping with all this? From where I sit the website doesn’t appear to be offering any sensible advice on how to end the readers’ misery quickly and those responsible for this failure are acting like Mexicans dancing around a hat, they imply they are, in some obscure way, the saviours of the those who have lost their shirts on a dodgy product.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

N&P faces claim of massive Keydata bond mis-selling | This is Money

N&P faces claim of massive Keydata bond mis-selling | This is Money

N&P cannot admit liability because that would invalidate its insurance, just as you cannot admit you were in the wrong following a motor vehicle accident. However the insurers are trying to say that their policies contain a clause which excludes losses caused by the insolvency of the investment company, in this case Keydata. This is yet another example of the failure of regulation.

The FSA is expected to make a decision shortly.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Norwich & Peterborough admits it could take £50m hit from Keydata - Citywire

Norwich & Peterborough admits it could take £50m hit from Keydata - Citywire

Every regulated firm MUST be able to quantify the risk posed to their capital adequacy, guessing is not acceptable, if we assume that ALL N&P customers should be automatically reinstated then that is £50 million plus intererest, most of which will be covered by professional indemnity insurance. As far as the risk assessment of the Keydata product is concerned the risk is unquantifiable and so the fact is that it was indeed a 100% risk of loss (that is how consumers see it) unless someone can prove it wasn't. Mr Bullock has in fact allowed claims handlers the opportunity to assist customers in losing 10% or more of their money through prevarication. N&P members should ask whether their management is up to the job. However, their PI insurers would not be happy if they admitted liability so I would be willing to provide them with an opinion on the suitability (or otherwise) of their advice to present to said insurers.

Keydata IFAs "face bankruptcy" over PI exclusion - IFAonline

Keydata IFAs "face bankruptcy" over PI exclusion - IFAonline

There is a fundamental issue here so if IFAs have problems with their insurers they should contact me.

The FSA should investigate the practice of using so many wide exclusions because these policies are worthless, they just make fat profits for the brokers and underwriters without affording any worthwhile protection for IFAs, their clients (consumers) or other IFAs when the bill lands on the doormat at the FSCS.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mortgage 'famine' hitting builders - Scotsman.com#5565911

Mortgage 'famine' hitting builders - Scotsman.com#5565911

You can blame the English regulator for most of this, what Scotland needs is its own regulatory regime, so does Wales, that way we might avoid some of the catastrophes the London based (and focussed) regime has completely failed to protect you from in the past.

FTAdviser.com - IFAs brand inquisitorial role of Fos as intrusive

FTAdviser.com - IFAs brand inquisitorial role of Fos as intrusive



The ultimate claims chaser? Unregulated and unaccountable under the law.

Although this case is unknown to me I can state categorically that the circumstances as portrayed here are not unique.

However, if an adviser’s file if presented to the FOS and someone is qualified to assess the suitability of the advice and in his ‘honestly held opinion’ (remember that one folks?) finds it to be unsuitable or non-compliant in any other way the case should be referred to a panel of the adviser’s peers who should be empowered to decide whether the Ombudsman’s extra curricular activities are warranted and more importantly correct. We would expect all persons regulated both past and present to have a fair hearing under the law, the law expects it too!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

FSA rules 'prevent branches lending to small firms' - Telegraph

FSA rules 'prevent branches lending to small firms' - Telegraph

The fundamental issue is the legislation passed by Parliament when the FSMA was doing the 1,200 amendment dance until the early hours when most MPs had gone home.

We have to ask ourselves why commecial lending is regulated in the first place, a business should not be classed as a 'consumer' just because its turnover is below a certain amount.

I hope the new government cuts some of the regulatory red tape which is crippling our financial services industry and in turn economy, unfortunately I don't think Mark Hoban will have the stomach for a bonfire of legislation that at least two of his colleagues would dearly love to have.

I have a plan!, Will nobody listen?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Government wants to cut business red tape with 'one in, one out' pledge | Mail Online

Government wants to cut business red tape with 'one in, one out' pledge | Mail Online

There is an entire public sector gravy train creating red tape, the people creating legislation and regulation thrive on it, we would need another industry to cut the red tape, we can't afford any more public servants!!

Homebuyers could be forced to pay bigger deposits in plan to cap mortgage lending | Mail Online

Homebuyers could be forced to pay bigger deposits in plan to cap mortgage lending | Mail Online

Good grief, another knee jerk reaction to the mess created by the regulators, the controls in place before the 1980s were insane, the lending binge of the 2000s created by securitised lending practices copied from the US was insane, now we see another period of insanity before us! Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see none.

The UK needs long-term lending stability which allows people with aspirations to own their home, this is not a solution it is a future problem, but of course by the time this carbuncle has festered sufficiently the politicians and policy makers will have moved on leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences of policy on the hoof.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MM Leader: Don't make IFAs scapegoats in Keydata blame game | Opinion | Money Marketing

MM Leader: Don't make IFAs scapegoats in Keydata blame game | Opinion | Money Marketing


If IFAs can be made scapegoats by anyone then that is what will happen because their representative bodies are either toothless or penniless, something the fund managers do not worry about too much.

The FSCS declaration that Keydata was an intermediary is one of the most irrational decisions I have seen in all my years of observation of all things FS. I wonder what the judiciary will make of it now that the New Labour thumb is not in its jugular.

As far as the FOS is concerned it will award as much compensation as it wishes, as one adjudicator once said to an IFA "I can do whatever I want" and "you will be getting a reputation".

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Friday, August 20, 2010

FOS issues landmark ruling against N&P over Keydata - Citywire

FOS issues landmark ruling against N&P over Keydata - Citywire

In my humble opinion all advice relating to the offerings of Keydata, MDF (sorry NDF) and many other manufacturers of 'structured products' could be unsuitable, even the FSA leaflet before me fails to mention the 'counterpaty' risk.

My argument is simply this, if the likes of Lehmans, Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley and all the other financial cadavers littering the financial services market place fall over the FOS can look at something and say the advice was unsuitable because the risks were not fully explained when the regulator itself failed to spot the dead parrot..

Is that fair and reasonable?

Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see none.

Why bother with regulation when all we need is a great big compensation pot?

FOS issues landmark ruling against N&P over Keydata - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

FOS issues landmark ruling against N&P over Keydata - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

How does this fit in with the court case against the FSCS?

And, if the FSCS struggled with proving that Keydata was liable for the losses created by a third party how then can the FOS find an IFA (N&P for example) liable for that same loss?

There are many aspects of all this that Gareth and his firm Regulatory Legal do not appear to be covering, Anthony Speaight QC has been instructed to represent the IFAs in the High Court and he said to me "I would naturally be delighted if there is a fresh opportunity for us to be involved together again".

#comments

#comments


I used to be one of the loudest voices asking for the regulators to be better qualified in financial services advice than those they regulate. Having met senior people at the FSA I don't think qualifications are entirely relevant in a supervisory situation but do worry about how many 'trends' they fail to spot, this might mean that although they know what a file should contain, what systems and controls should be in place and what a dodgy set of accounts looks like they are unable to reach a fully informed opinion based on practical experience of what constitutes suitable advice, which might mean more cases get to the FOS and the FSCS in future, which in turn means the compensation machine grows like Topsy.

This week there are 66 jobs up for grabs on the FSA website, if you think their job is easy and all you need is FPC 1 and 2 then you are welcome to apply!

I was deluded enough to believe (so was Chris) that I could do a good job at AIFA, I didn't even get an interview!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Long-stop appeal is rejected | News | Money Marketing#commentsubmitted

Long-stop appeal is rejected | News | Money Marketing#commentsubmitted


Mike Fenwick | 5 Aug 2010 11:49 am

I often read comments about what are considered to be the failings of the FSA, but for me perhaps the issues surrounding the lack of a long stop must rank near the top of that league of regulatory failings.

The FSA have been given extensive legal powers, have recruited large numbers of highly paid staff, it has in many ways an unlimited budget ... and yet, and yet.

And yet, despite all of that - and more - when it comes to their ability to recognise failings in the markets which they regulate, it is not 3 years that they need, nor is it 6 years, nor is it 15 years.

Do the abilities of the FSA run so low that they must determinedly stick to their assertion that they need - forever?

Does it reveal an important lesson?

I would suggest it does - and I wonder if that apparent failure, the need to take forever to perform a regulatory function, to take forever to ascertain failings in the market, could in any way be described as being in the public interest.

Not convinced?

Then perhaps ask yourself if ... whilst denying the regulated a legitimate claim to the legal rights granted to others - why the FSA were given a unique exemption from the rule of law for their own failings?

You sure that is truly in the public's interest?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Aifa says IFAs should seriously consider restricted advice | News | Money Marketing#commentsubmitted

Aifa says IFAs should seriously consider restricted advice | News | Money Marketing#commentsubmitted


I don't believe in "restricted advice" or "simplified advice".

Consumers need comprehensive independent financial advice from people they trust, nothing else is 'advice', period.

Just as a bad will is worse than no will at all I would contend that in general no advice at all is better than 'sales' dressed up as advice, restricted, simplified or any other name the providers and banks dream up.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Model Adviser® survey reveals optimism for business in run-up to 2012 - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

New Model Adviser® survey reveals optimism for business in run-up to 2012 - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire

Citywire (New Model Adviser) has an opinion which is supported by a few staunch supporters, how few? Let us assume (ASSofUandME) that 74% of 100 equals 74 such staunch followers, Out of the 60,000 Hector Sants' provided figures in front of the TSC that isn't entirely representative is it?

As far as the RDR is concerned I can see every argument for, against and any permutation thereof but I can't see how the 'consumer' benefits from this public display of quite disparate and heated opinion. How does it look from gound zero? A bunch of 'professionals' bitching and moaning, fighting for an imaginary moral higher ground.

Society is in dire need of regulatory balance, I see none here.

And that goes for all of you! Regulators and their political puppeteers included...

Friday, July 30, 2010

You cannot separate clients | Opinion | Money Marketing

You cannot separate clients Opinion Money Marketing

I forgot to add a comment to Chris Gilchrist's article, or was I busy doing something else?

To some people everything is a complex financial problem and I should know because I used to advise every level of society right up from people on the dole, I was practically a social worker as were many of my colleagues, if I'd focussed on just making money I might still have been an IFA today, sadly I have always been a sucker for helping the underdog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

FTAdviser.com - New FSA powers could signal return of the long-stop

FTAdviser.com - New FSA powers could signal return of the long-stop


"Return"?

It never went away, it was simply ignored. IFADU tried every trick in the book and ended up with one or two cases before the European Court of Human Rights, they are there right now which beggars the question "why now", what has AIFA done for you?

FSA creates long stop for redress schemes | News | Money Marketing

FSA creates long stop for redress schemes | News | Money Marketing

Dear Mr Strange

You are quoted as having said:

"I think this is the first time we have achieved some element of a long stop within financial services.”

Having been through every hoop, loop and turn on this regulatory merry ground since 1985 I can only declare that this is indeed a strange thing to say because what Paolo mentioned above (SI2326) cemented what governed the previous regulator (PIA) and Ombudsman scheme (PIAOB), namely "THE LAW" and in particular the 15 year long stop. This has been argued tiem and again and a recent JR against the FOS highlighted what HM Treasury described as the ‘legitimate expectation’ of firms not to have to face retrospection.

If I am wrong could someone tell me?

Are you claiming a victory here with “we have achieved”? Many IFAs wonder what AIFA has been doing all these years, the ones on the Council who don’t worry about it are either unable to comprehend all this or they think they can offload all their liabilities on their ARs.