Advisers have received automated reminders from the regulator for the past six years and risk a £250 fine for late submissions.
Advisers normally receive three email reminders about their bi-annual Gabriel reports, but some have not been receiving any, according to Dennis Coleman, IFA at Berkshire-based Reading Financial Services.
He complained that he had nearly missed the deadline as he had not received a reminder a month ahead. He said he had contacted the FCA and was told that reminders were “just a courtesy, and not to be expected.”
A few days later, on 30 October, the reminder arrived, 11 days before the final due date. The email was flagged by his own email provider MSN warning that the sender had “failed our fraud detection checks”.
Mr Coleman said: “If you are away or have got plenty on, it’s impossible to get it done in that time. Big companies update every day, but small companies do it twice a year. The FCA says it doesn’t have to do it, but in actual fact it has always done it. I’m a one-man band and it took up the whole weekend. Either the FCA sends it out or it doesn’t. We’ve come to expect a reminder twice a year, and it gives you a month to do to it, rather than dropping everything.”
In July, the Office of the Complaints Commissioner rejected an appeal from an adviser who had been fined by the FCA for a late submission. At the time the OCC acknowledged that a technical fault at the FCA prevented the adviser receiving the reminder. When asked, a spokesman said the OCC said it was unaware the FCA had experienced another technical problem.
|Gabriel report requirements:|
|Profit & loss account|
|Client money and assets|
|Training and competence|
|Supplementary product sales data|
|Complaints-all activities-complaints return|
Another adviser, writing on the Cherry forum, said: “The FCA missed me too. My reporting period ended 5 October. I always receive an email on 6 October, but so far nothing.”
Right to reply
Ruth Wharram, press officer at the FCA, said: “It was a technical issue. Automated emails are sent out. People should receive three reminders. The technical issues have been fixed.”