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?