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Complaints data and a housing crash: the week in news

Complaints data and a housing crash: the week in news

It has been a busy week for the Financial Conduct Authority, but what else has been going on? It’s time for the week in news.

Discontent at Tenet, complaints data and holidays in Newport have all hit the headlines this week.

1) FCA’s hit parade sees SJP move on up

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St James’s Place weren’t top of the pops in the FCA’s complaints data (that honour went to Barclays Bank) but it overtook Sesame.

The regulator opened 1,761 complaints against the various arms of the Cheltenham-based company.

Unsurprisingly most of these related to investments, followed by pensions.

Sesame had 805 complaints while Hargreaves Lansdown had 1,092.

Overall there were fewer complaints in the first half of 2016, with 2.05m submitted to the FCA.

Meanwhile the FCA fined Aviva £8.2m after its pension and platform arms failed to ensure clients' money was fully protected.

2) Let’s all go to Newport…

This week the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment took its financial planning conference (you know, the one that used to be the Institute for Financial Planning’s conference) to South Wales.

This was the first edition of the conference since the IFP’s merger with the Cisi and FTAdviser’s intrepid reporter followed them down to Newport for three days of non-stop financial planning.

Highlights included the gala awards ceremony which saw Jane Wheeler win the Tony Sellon ‘Good Egg’ Memorial Award and Jenny Ryan win paraplanner of the year.

Meanwhile there was discord over paraplanning standards, Gill Cardy warned of advisers’ client bases being eroded and Cisi chief executive Simon Culhane said he was working with other professional bodies on the issue of the FCA register.

3) Ombudsman faces criticism over payouts

Criticism was levelled at the Financial Ombudsman Service for failing to enforce action against financial advisers who, it was claimed, are intentionally avoiding paying redress.

Law firm Waterside Legal told FTAdviser was has dealt with an increasing number of complaints against firms which delay redress payments, and currently has around 18 clients who still have payments outstanding.

The Fos said this was an issue for the FCA, who declined to comment.

4) Armageddon scheduled for 2017 – don’t be late

An economist has warned people to be wary of UK real estate, claiming property prices are on the verge of collapsing.

In 1989 Harry Dent refuted claims by economists that Japan would be the next economic super-power, instead predicting the country would undergo a huge downturn which would last for more than a decade.

As macro-spotters will know, he was proven right and Japan’s economy has still not recovered after its stock market plunged 80 per cent.

Mr Dent said: “Even if I wasn’t predicting a downturn, I would say don’t push your luck too far because nothing goes up forever.”

5) Tenet shareholders think company could benefit from special relationship

A group of shareholders in independent advice firm Tenet are looking to sell their stake to a venture capitalist or American institution because of concerns about how the company is run.