RegulationApr 19 2012

FSA cancels two more advisers over non-payment of fees

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ByDonia O’Loughlin and Ashley Wassall

The Financial Services Authority has cancelled the permissions of two advisers over their failure to pay regulatory fees and levies of more than £2,200.

According to final notices published on the regulator’s website, Hove-based Chris John Wilkins, trading as Mortgage Resolutions, failed to pay fees and levies of £1,187, while Slough-based Artif Reyaz, trading as Insurepay, failed to cough up fees of £1,016.

Both Mr Wilkins and Mr Reyaz were issued with warning and decision notices, with neither referring the action to the Upper Tribunal.

Last month the FSA issued a spate of final notices over advisers that had been stripped of their permissions after failing to pay fees. In all there were five such cases in March - including three final notices in two days - the advisers owed fees of between £1,300 and £1,700.

In February, Ayrshire-based IFA Duncan Brown & Co had its permissions cancelled over failure to pay fees of £8,663 owed to the regulator.

Some advisers have told FTAdviser that non-payment of fees leading to a cancelling of permissions is being used by some advisers as an exit route from the industry in the lead up to the Retail Distribution Review, avoiding onerous and lengthy FSA de-authorisation processes.

Regulatory consultant Evan Owen said: “It is the easiest way for a smaller IFA to become de-authorised. If you want to become de-authorised you have got to apply and jump through all these hoops.

“It’s a lot of form filling and messing around, so for a lot of IFAs they just stop paying fees and vanish. If you’re going to leave the industry, what harm is there in saying, ‘to hell with it, I’m out!’?”