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By Marc Shoffman | Published Mar 10, 2011

James Hay makes U-turn on FSCS levy

The firm sparked controversy last month after writing to Sipp holders advising them that it reserved the right to pass on the costs of the controversial FSCS bill covering the cost of investment failures.

However, following criticism from advisers, Tim Sargisson, managing director of James Hay, said: "I am aware that a number of our introducer IFAs expressed concern that we failed to advise them that we were going to do this and I sincerely apologise if this has caused any inconvenience for them and their clients.

"James Hay recognises that our professional introducers are at the heart of our business and they have my assurance that we will always look to advise them prior to contacting clients. However, we believe that this was an exceptional issue and the need to move with pace in dealing with it was crucial.

"I am able to confirm that James Hay Partnership paid the amount of its interim levy in full by the due date of 23 February.

"Having now had time to reflect on this issue, we have decided that on this occasion we will not pass on the cost of the levy to James Hay Sipp holders. We will be writing to IFAs in the first instance confirming this and then to clients.

Graeme Mitchell, managing director of Selkirkshire-based Lowland Financial, said: "I thought the initial decision was going further than needed. We all run businesses and have to take some tough decisions on costs. James Hay was potentially shooting itself in the foot."

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