Your Shout: Letters to the editor

Financial Adviser Letters

Financial Adviser Letters

Self-employed must take advice

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the case involving former BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd and HM Revenue & Customs, it might have been wise for her and others in similar positions to take specialist advice on their legal status (ie employed or self-employed) before embarking on the contracts concerned and, had that advice proved faulty, at least there would be some means of recourse. This kind of thing is indeed a minefield, which makes the need for seeking such advice all the more vital.

As it happens, I did the same thing in reverse many years ago in respect of an employed contract of service that I believed should have been a self-employed contract for services and, having taken legal advice, I applied for a secretary of state’s decision on the matter, which came down in my favour; when Inland Revenue (as it was then) later challenged me on my self-employed status, I was able to supply a copy of that decision as evidence and it had to accept it.    

Alistair Hinton


Scrutinise the FCA

Having just read the story on FTAdviser (October 28) I feel angry that the Financial Conduct Authority could ask for more money from the financial services industry to pay for their uncontrolled spending practices and recruitment policy. 

Is the FCA there to protect the industry, or is it trying to bring it to its knees, forcing many qualified and experienced advisers out of business, which will ultimately affect the end user [customers], as accessing good, sound financial advice will become unavailable/unaffordable as increased costs will eventually have to be passed onto the end user.

We have all seen over recent years the effect uncontrolled business rates and rents have had on retail businesses and High Streets, decimating an industry that the famed British economy was built on. 

MPs seem to have no idea of what the world outside the ‘Westminster bubble’ is like for retailers, advisers and everyday folk trying to earn a living.

It is about time the FCA was put under more scrutiny regarding its actions and costs, as it has become an uncontrolled monster wreaking havoc within the industry it was set up to control and ultimately protect.

Only a short time ago fees that we were paying towards the running of the FCA were an annoyance but affordable, yet year on year, fees are increased to such a level that the average adviser is paying in excess of £10,000 each a year towards this out of control quango.

In no other industry or business can a regulator set its own budget without having to justify it to a higher body – in the FCA’s case it should be hauled in front of a select committee to answer such questions.