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CII sanctions adviser over 'inappropriate' tweet

CII sanctions adviser over 'inappropriate' tweet

The Chartered Insurance Institute has told an adviser to do an online ethics course after a complaint was made relating to one of his tweets.

West Riding Personal Financial Solutions managing director Neil Liversidge was first notified by the professional body about the anonymous complaint on November 8, 2021.

The CII had told Liversidge: “The circumstances notified to the CII are that you posted offensive, racist comments on Twitter. 

“When challenged, you continued to defend your comments saying: ‘I have no time or care for the PC, humourless, puritanical, or sanctimonious. Anyone who does not like it can lump it.’”

The tweet which prompted the complaint, published on November 5, 2021, concerned Lord Patel's appointment as chairperson of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Following the CII’s letter to Liversidge, a disciplinary investigation ensued. 

Eight months later and following an investigation, the chartered body found the adviser had breached the CII’s Code of Ethics by making inappropriate comments on his social media account.

It said: "The respondent breached the CII Code of Ethics by making inappropriate comments on his social media account."

FTAdviser understands Liversidge had the right of appeal and, while initially indicating he wished to do so, subsequently withdrew his appeal.

Liversidge said when he tried to appeal, the CII told him it would "go for costs”, leading him think there was no point in appealing.

He was told by the CII he had to take and complete the CII online ethics course within three months of the sanctions taking effect, on June 20, 2022.

Liversidge was also told to complete training on cultural sensitivity and/or responsibility at his own expense and provide proof to the CII of such completion within six months of the sanctions.

In a tweet on August 8, Liversidge said he was “forced” to pay for and take the course after he “told a joke” on Twitter. 

“It was that or be deprived of my livelihood,” he said.

The CII declined to comment on Liversidge’s tweets. FTAdviser has asked what would have happened if Liversidge did not complete the training.