Who pays the cost of poor and illegal advice?
I feel obliged to respond to your report on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy, ‘Bitter pill to swallow: advisers react to FSCS interim levy’ (Nov 25).
I cannot believe that we are, yet again, being burdened with the cost of poor or even illegal advice.
I only have to look out of my office window and I can see a regulated company promoting offshore property investments that for all intents and purposes look legitimate, or UK-based property schemes where they are actively advertising the low interest rates that clients can get to remortgage and invest.
But sadly the regulator comes after the easy touch – those of us who strive to work within the regulatory boundaries as set out for us.
The company I worked for previously took £27m of pension assets and invested them into unregulated collective investment schemes investments. All are now valued at £0.
Yet the individual responsible continues to trade (albeit not as a regulated individual).
He is now a business development manager (not that the clients that he sees know that he isn’t supposed to give advice).
Sadly they continue to flout the regulations and cause havoc, but who pays for it? That’s right, us – those trying to guide clients through the world of investment.
‘But there is a whistle-blowing facility that you could call,’ I hear you say. This is true but it is not fit for purpose.
We blew the whistle on my previous employer six years ago and guess what has happened? That’s right – nothing. We had a call this year to say that [the regulator] was continuing its investigations.
And all the while more and more people are being misled and conned out of their cash. And I’m expected to put my hand in my pocket and pay for it.
Name and address supplied
Valuing unquoted stocks
Regarding your article ‘Schroders British trust raises third of target ahead of IPO’ (Nov 27).
It says the Schroders trust will invest 50 per cent in public equity investments, with the other 50 per cent going into unquoted stocks, while aiming to provide a net asset value return of 10 per cent a year.
Who is going to do the valuation to help meet the 10 per cent a year target? How easy is it to value unquoted stocks?
This says a lot about the growing shortage of listed securities and the increased reliance on non-transparent private equity.
Mark St Giles
Cadogan Financial Ltd
A call for clarity
Regarding your article ‘Former footballers launch mis-selling case against adviser’ (Nov 27).
I think there is a lack of clarity within the sector as to the legal tests by which their conduct falls to be assessed and it is unclear whether the solicitors are saying that it’s a fraud case or a breach of Financial Conduct Authority rules.