Your Industry  

SJP criticism and Woodford's woes: week in news

SJP criticism and Woodford's woes: week in news

Teachers may have gone on holiday but the financial services industry kept on turning.

Here is everything you need to know about the week in news.

1) Way of St James

Article continues after advert

It has been another week in the headlines for the company that was number one on Financial Adviser's 2016 Top 100 Financial Adviser lisy.

Consumer campaign group Which claimed to have uncovered transparency failings at St James’s Place.

An undercover investigation by Which – involving 12 meetings with advisers from SJP – also found potential customers were being misled about the nature of the service on offer.

SJP has pointed out how satisfied its clients are with the service provided by their advisers.

2) Just about managing

The Financial Conduct Authority is obviously under the impression advisers don’t have much on their plates at the moment.

This week it published draft rules on how they will have to comply with the senior managers regime.

Under the regime, anyone who holds a senior management function at an advice firm will need to be approved by the FCA and every senior manager will need to fill out a statement of responsibilities explaining what they are responsible for.

The regime sets out a series of “prescribed responsibilities” which firms will need to give their senior managers, but these will not apply to some firms – including sole traders of firms – and larger firms will have more responsibilities.

The roll-out of the regime to the entire financial services industry will cost all firms at least £547m, the FCA has said.

3) Woodford hit by Astra

If you thought you were having a bad week, spare a thought for Neil Woodford.

He suffered a collection of set-backs this week culminating in the share price of AstraZeneca tumbling 16 per cent after it was revealed the trial of a cancer fighting drug called Mystic had not achieved its stated aim.

Astra is the largest holding in the £10bn CF Woodford Equity Income fund, making up 8 per cent, or £800m of the total.

Meanwhile another Woodford top 10 holding Provident Financial announced a 45 per cent drop in annual profits earlier this week, and the shares of another significant Woodford position, retailer Next, dropped from £4.96 to £3.92 earlier this week – and haven’t really recovered.

It is a tough life being a star fund manager.

4) IFA fought the law and the law won

An independent financial adviser who forged investment documentation relating to his clients was convicted earlier this week.

Martin Rigney invested his clients into a high-risk, unregulated collective investment scheme at a time when most of them were elderly and this type of investment was not suitable for them.

Rigney forged documents by either signing signatures himself or photocopying the genuine signature of the client.

Derbyshire Police’s investigation of Mr Rigney – an adviser who had worked in the industry for more than 20 years - began when a complaint was made to West Yorkshire Police in June 2012 by the son of a couple of his clients.