James Coney  

FSCS levy size is a regulatory failure

James Coney

James Coney

There is a wider industry benefit from a vibrant financial advice sector. So, everyone should pay more towards this levy.

Not only can bigger companies afford it, but paying more might help focus their attention on what is going wrong.

Just you wait; once the wider financial community starts feeling the burden – particularly companies with very loud lobby groups – then regulators might choose to act a bit quicker.

Questions for Link 

As each day passes, the role of Link Fund Solutions in the Woodford debacle gets more and more scrutiny.

It is not as if this company does not have a past: need I remind you all about the collapse of Arch Cru and of Connaught. The former, in particular, saw Link (or Capita as it was then), up to its neck in a furore over asset valuations.

If that sounds familiar, well, there is a reason for that. Link was ultimately responsible for the Woodford Equity Income fund and its oversight does not seem to have prevented any of the mistakes that led to its eventual closure.

Now it is hastily selling off assets, which are then sold on at a far higher price. This incompetence needs reining in quickly.

Inside jokes

One of those Twitter viral jokes brought the best out of advisers last week. The idea was that you create a gag that starts: ‘I’ve got a joke about...’

For example, I’ve got a joke about Brie, but it’s a bit cheesy.

Two of the best from advisers were: I’ve got a joke about FCA enforcement, I’ll tell you the punchline in three years.

And my favourite: I’ve got a joke about defined benefit pension transfers, it’s not suitable for everyone.

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times