British Blogs


Burn it down: Observations on the Financial Services Authority

A fishy tale
15 year long stop, FSA Board should be very careful when voting, is the information they rely upon accurate? That from the FOS for example. Ignorance is no defence. Charges made against you can include Misfeasance, contravention of Article 6 and let's not forget the latest FSA paper on making Directors of companies responsible.
Our take on regulation - banking crises et al
Where next for banking regulation - Edward Leigh Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee
Brown’s ‘Churchill’ Moment Masks Failure of Regulator He Built:
RDR For Dummies by Steve
MiFID and RDR - Never the twain shall meet? - If the FSA imposes a regime which damages the advice sector and small IFAs in particular we may have grounds for a judicial review, or a claim of misfeasance or a breach of Article 6.
LAUTRO 12 Information Tribunal
Information Tribunal dismisses FSA defence of provider's human rights, funny how IFA human rights do not feature on planet FSA!
FSMA 2000 and Article 6 declaration of compatibility
Information Tribunal dismisses HM Treasury appeal against ICO Decision Notice and must disclose information relating to Gordon Brown's declaration that the Financial Services and Markets Bill was compatible with human rights legislation, well it wasn't and we will prove that soon enough. HERE  BUT HM Treasury is appealing to the High Court, wonder who the tame Judge will be.

Suggestions from a barrister, things to do when faced with the FOS if you want to make any possible future case against it as water tight as you can.



Send a letter to your MP HERE

Qualifications maketh the 'professional'? An educationalist's view


Submission to House of Lords Select Committee on Regulators - Call for evidence - UK Economic Regulators (Copyright)

Their report is HERE


...The word is independent. There are many definitions but let's take a look at three:

1. Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.

2. Not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free: an independent businessman.

3. Expressive of a spirit of independence; self-confident; unconstrained: a free and independent citizen.

Long live IFAs whatever method of payment their clients choose

missedtargetsFTAdviser.jpg (801826 bytes) 05 July 2007 (3).jpg (918362 bytes)

Evidently in response to articles including THIS ONE Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service gave a speech at the Association of Finance Brokers (AFB) annual dinner on 2 July 2007. Our response is HERE

Dear Mr Cresswell

Outcry over the FOS non-disclosure of evidence


FSA mystery (PDF)

Freedom of Information: Right to Know Request

FOI0001 Sight of Counsel's opinions on the compatibility of the FSMA 2000 with the Human Rights Act 1998. There are no favourable Counsel's opinions and according to insiders Gordon Brown couldn't be bothered to obtain one to support his certification of the FSMA Bill, that's arrogance for you. Can he be dragged before Parliament to explain why he deceived the whole House? He did the same with the Finance Bill. He should be sacked! The whole Government runs on lies and spin... ICO Decision Notice HERE

Information Tribunal appeal dismissed HERE, a VICTORY for common sense. HM Treasury will know what is coming next.


FOI0002 How many providers used 'inappropriate charges' to set premiums i.e LAUTRO 'assumed expenses'? To date we haven't found one single provider who actually used own charges to set the premium, can anyone out there put the record straight? There is a case  for providers to come clean after leaving IFAs (and PI insurers) in the lurch. Every single life office  product sold between April 1988 and January 1995 was misrepresented. ICO Decision Notice HERE

Letter to ECPG and Impact of regulation on retail financial services


Yes the FSA is a keen collector of art, see the list here:

It also spends quite a bit on taxis:

And a shedload of money on 'consultants':

I think that is enough to digest, and give you indigestion, in one day:


"Most regulators’ careers end prematurely in failure and disgrace." - HOWARD DAVIES : HENRY THORNTON LECTURE : CITY UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL : 4 NOVEMBER 1998


Letter from FSA regarding 15 year long stop HERE Hirst Opinion on FOS requirement to take account of what the 'former scheme' was required to do HERE


Open letter from Terence O'Halloran to FSA


FOSSY LOGIC!!   Page 1 (1MB)  Page 2  (4MB) Page 3 (1MB) Subscribe to Money Management  The original writing is HERE (HTML) or HERE (Word)



Endowments meet their targets, what was all the fuss about? Reproduced with the kind permission of the Evening Standard. Copyright: Evening Standard 2006.


Split-cap ‘compensation’ going to those who made millions and HERE


LIMITATION and ANOTHER and ANOTHER (1) (2) Please take care with any opinion because that is all it is.


Letter to John McFall HERE - Guess what - No reply


PIA warned of PIA perils HERE 


Robber baron HERE


Letter from FSA HERE confirming our worst fears, regulated persons and companies have no rights under common law. The letter is supposed to address the fears we expressed during this meeting:


Letter to FT




There may be trouble ahead......


FOS Goes to Strasbourg


False Premises - Money Management



The IFA Defence Union recommends the use of surveillance equipment when dealing with the regulators or even clients, the following story  is that of another IFA who fell under the wheels of this driverless juggernaut:


"Totally endorse the recording of dealings with regulators

We were terminated by FIMBRA due to false allegations by a couple of sick bully boys.

Almost by accident I had taken a micro recorder up (my sister-in-law worked for an electronics firm). I had recorded the conversation with the compliance officer at Hertsmere House.
When we played back the recording it bore no resemblance to the words we were alleged to have said and which were pivotal to the case against us.
Our Solicitor let it be known that he had seen the transcript of the tape, but no mention was made at our appeals tribunal. Our Barrister did take the compliance officers apart and showed them up for what they were..
There was an ex policemen that worked for the 2 compliance officers that had taken a statement from us, at the hearing he told the Tribunal that the written statement attributed to him and used to bury us was not made by him (he at least was being honest).

1) What would have happened if I didn't have the proof that they were lying?
2) Why did they lie in the first place?
3) Why were they not disciplined for lying? (we couldn't afford to take them to the High Court)

I am saddened by what happened, my Father thought naively that if we just told the truth we would be alright. Just as well that I am I bit more devious. I am still bitter for what they did to my Family (unable to work for 3 months young family to support and relying on state aid including milk tokens) - I wonder whether Magee-Englefield and Hamp really thought they had done a good job?

Thanks for all the support and help. (NO need to reply as you are doing a great job into the nitty gritty)

Best Wishes

Yours Sincerely"

A Member


Dear Mr Kenmir - Re: LAUTRO 'assumed expenses'


Depolarisation - a shambles in the making


The Union is  the first port of call for advisers wherever they may be in the UK and whatever area of business they have chosen to work in. We welcome any person caught in the inhuman web of the Financial Services and Markets Act, an Act that is not compatible with the  Human Rights Act 1998 so we will be testing this soon, see THIS and send it to YOUR MP as soon as possible, after reading THIS , THIS




Important legal case HERE



Opinion of Anthony Speaight QC:

"There are growing concerns that the pendulum of consumer protection has swung too far in the case of the Financial Ombudsman Service and small independent financial advisers. The FOS appears regularly to be exercising its discretion to adjudicate upon claims against small IFAs up to its maximum theoretical jurisdiction of 100,000. There is rarely an oral hearing. And there are good reasons to believe that sometimes FOS makes substantial awards in cases which would be rejected by the courts. On other occasions compensation seems to be calculated in a more generous manner than a court would assess damages. By reason of very large excesses and other insurance shortcomings some such IFAs have no insurance which responds. There is no appeal on the merits.


Such a system would be tolerable if the maximum award were modest say 5,000 (which is the maximum summary compensation under the legal professions’ schemes for "inadequate professional service"). It would also be tolerable if, as is the case with the summary system of adjudication in the construction industry under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, there could be a complete rehearing before a court. And it might even be tolerable if it were applied only against very large companies


But an unappealable, compulsory, summary jurisdiction against small traders making awards as great as 100,000 is, in my view, both wrong in principle and producing injustice in practice."

(No providers will be hurt in the making of this movie, in fact they can join the cast.)


Limitation of liability


Responses to ABI Commission Consultation Document From REAL people to UNREAL people

Leviathan at large

Leviathan still at large

FSA determined to give endowments a fair trial

Repayment mortgages NOT guaranteed to repay the loan - stunning revelation, not. And HERE and HERE


PENSIONS REVIEW - WHAT A FARCE!  Part 1  Part2 (.tif files)

Then what was said in Parliament


Re: Article in Money Marketing entitled "IFAs seek legal advice on misselling responsibility'. The quote in full was: "the IFA Defence Union has been gathering opinions from legal and actuarial experts as well as questioning the FSA. The evidence strongly suggests that IFAs have a case for misrepresentation of risk against providers with many products but accept the argument that the regulator is culpable in some areas and that the providers have a right to want to challenge it. IFAs cannot be held responsible for misrepresentations made by either party, they have been the whipping boy for far too long. If IFAs are afraid of taking on the providers they should ask themselves how much time and money they are wasting on defending claims relating to 'unsuitable advice' when the complaint is in fact about the product, the FSA have indicated that it would be appropriate to refer such complaints to the provider".


FSA warns of high cost of small IFAs OUR RESPONSE HERE


What a week that was NEWS


Did you know? - Commission costs an average of 3% within investment business, compliance costs 9%... is the FSA adding value? Considering it costs investors three times more than the IFA distribution channel any sane person would come to the conclusion that regulatory interference is counter productive.   


Complaint to Callum McCarthy - FSA

Complaint to Walter Merricks - FOS





Falconer call to end claims culture: A Department for Constitutional Affairs spokesman said: "This is a complex and controversial issue where the Government cannot provide all the solutions". OH YES IT CAN!! Here are the simple solutions:

  1. Follow the lead of our astute Irish neighbours who require claimants to sign an affidavit.

  2. Penalise those who tell lies.

  3. Restore some burden of proof to the complainant.

  4. Charge the complainant a fee that is refundable if successful.

  5. Regulate the 'clams handlers' - we have already reported a number of IFAs who also have an 'unregulated' arm. How they can claim to be 'unregulated' is in dispute when financial advice is being provided.

Simple solutions? Of course they are but why can't they be implemented? Why is this so painful?

Also see: Complaints and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002


Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998: In my view the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.


The Pensions Ombudsman and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human rights HERE If you don't have the time or the inclination to read it here is a brief synopsis : The FSMA is NOT compatible with the ECHR, we have asked for sight of opinion. Also see HERE


IFADU Response to  FSA Consultation Paper 04/12

Gary Stidolph Response

Susan King Response



Making a fuss about the FOS This article is published in the September 2004 issue of Money Management Magazine. To subscribe call 020 8606 7545 or visit The only problem is a reference to primary legislation being required to amend the FSMA and rein in those empowered by it (in their own interpretation) when the fact is that the FSMA allows just one of Her Majesty's Ministers to change anything he/she wishes at any time and as often as he/she deems fit. Well that's democracy? See HERE


We need copies of FOS decision letters that advisers feel are incorrect so please fax them to us on 0845 4585299, we will be compiling a database that will be used to find inconsistencies. We have quite a few interesting developments on this front, more to follow.


FOS Jurisdiction: It has been brought to our attention that many IFAs are not aware of the full facts relating to the jurisdiction of the FOS for any complaints relating to advice provided before 1st December 2001.


We can provide advice :

The regulatory climate is becoming more prescriptive and the use of 100% hindsight by those in authority is causing advice to be deemed inappropriate many years after it was given in good faith, all advisers need support from:

  • Legal Experts
  • Compliance Advisers
  • PI insurance specialists

We have a list of people with experience of reversing FOS decisions and success in appeals tribunals.



Many professions have their own defence union:

Lawyers, Accountants and Doctors have a union to turn to in times of need. Now IFAs will have their very own defence union.


In the words of Tony Blair


The Hutton debate in Parliament and the following is quoted from Hansard, Columns 770 and 771 on 4 February 2004 - the words are spoken by the Prime Minister:


*I somehow feel that I am not being entirely persuasive in certain quarters.

We cannot have a situation in which we end up translating what we know today back into the context of what was known and thought in September 2002, and then reaching a judgment.*


Only the financial services regulatory system has 100% hindsight


The more corrupt the State the more numerous the laws. -- Cornelius Tacitus

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