Former adviser wins True Potential trail row

Former adviser Arwyn Bailey has won a six month battle with True Potential over trail commission after intervention by Financial Adviser.

The former principal of Middlesex-based Justamo Financial Planning, received an apology from True Potential on Tuesday following a battle with the network when it failed to deliver on a promise to keep a trail account open for six months after his retirement. Mr Bailey retired on grounds of ill-health last year.

He claimed that TP closed his account in January, despite initially promising to keep it open for a transitionary period to allow him to pass on trail commission to the new owner of his business.

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In an email sent to Mr Bailey on 15 October, and seen by Financial Adviser, a named individual at TP assured him his account would remain open for six months.

It added: “Towards the end of the period we will get in touch with you to confirm which providers, if any, are still paying us, so that you can inform them not to move forward.”

However, Mr Bailey found that TP subsequently closed his account on 15 January.

When asked about the issue in June, a spokesman from True Potential said the network would not be commenting.

This week, Mr Bailey wrote to all of TP’s registered members outlining his grievance.

In the letter he threatened further action within 14 days – including “moving towards the gaining of a winding-up order against True Potential” – if a resolution were not forthcoming.

He said he was subsequently contacted by the firm on Tuesday morning with an apology and a promise to keep his account open for six months.

He said: “True Potential has apologised and said it will speak to all the product providers necessary to get my account statements since I have left the network.

“I’m happy it is resolved, but it’s a shame it came to this.”

David Harrison, managing partner at True Potential, said: “True Potential has more than 800 firms and collects commissions daily on their behalf. By anyone’s standards, this is a complicated and intricate task.

“In this situation, we had an adviser wishing to terminate his contract early due to personal reasons and we made an exception, for all the right reasons. This has appeared to have backfired due to the complexities around how providers treat any type of payment post-RDR, which we have been warning advisers about for the past two years.

“We’re happy to work with Mr Bailey to help clarify his position and assist him in what is a complicated commercial and regulatory situation.”