Libertatem fighting fund raises £22,000

Libertatem fighting fund raises £22,000

Libertatem, a trade body founded in May last year, has managed to raise £22,000 in the 13 days leading up to Christmas as part of its lobbying campaign.

Forty IFA firms have contributed £22,000, with two firms contributing £1,000 each and the remainder making donations of £50 for Libertatem’s two-pronged lobbying efforts for an overhaul of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies and to demand a new adviser-only regulator.

The non-profit body had hoped to raise £50,000 before Christmas.

In November last year Garry Heath, director general of Libertatem, said: “IFAs have nodded off. They are not members of Apfa. Hardly anyone is a member of a trade association. Advisers are sleepwalking to the end of the year.”

Claiming not to have been disappointed that he had not hit his £50,000 goal, Mr Heath said: “The appeal went out the second week of December so there was not long to respond. We will make our goal when folks get back to work.”

Mr Heath said a straw poll of Libertatem members found “overwhelming” support for a new adviser-only regulator.

He said: “We believe that a separate regulator designed specifically for professional advisers would do a better job for our clients than the FCA, and at a lower cost.

Mr Heath met MPs, Treasury officials, Treasury select committee members, Bank of England, FCA and PRA staff in November and said it was “made clear to him that nothing is excluded from the Financial Advice Market Review and that Libertatem’s idea of separating professional adviser regulation into a defined lower-cost area was found to be ‘exciting and credible’.”

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Clearly this shows the strength of feeling among advisers about the impact of unsustainable and ever-increasing costs coupled with the uncertainty associated with unlimited liability and the current funding mechanism of the FSCS.

“The FSCS is under review with the FAMR as is the potential for regulatory reform, which was instigated by the Treasury.

“It is therefore important we continue to work collaboratively with both the government and the regulator in seeking the right solutions that both better serve the public and the advice profession alike.

“Although the review closed on 22 December, the government’s approach has so far been very encouraging and I know that quite a number of advisers had personally contributed to the review, both as part of the process and in submitting evidence.”