Dear Mr Klein,
I have been living on the Costa Del Sol for over a year. Prior to that I was involved in the UK Financial Services Industry with only two emloyees-CIS Ltd (11 years) and Royal London Insurance Society Ltd(5 years) over a period of 16 years. In the late 1990´s I successfuly passed the FPC Certificates, parts 1,2 and 3.
This being the case I have given advise under the initial Lautro regulator(1988) as well as PIA and the FSA. Therefore regulations are an area I am extremely aware of and more than happy with.
I have looked extensively at your web site and agree with and empathise all the complaints and case histories, however I would add the following points;
In the UK, when a clients attitude to risk is documentated at the first visit, complaints still arise when profits decrease for whatever reason.No case to answer under under FSA principles.
Clients who choose to invest in what is a balance fund(unit trust,equities etc) and are loosing capital within 1-3 years will complain-No case to answer under under FSA principles.
The FSA rules prooved extremely useful when the pension miss-selling scandal came to light i.e. when an adviser recommended a client leave a company pension scheme such as NHS Superannuation Scheme in favour of a PPS-Personal Pension Scheme. Enormous benefits were given up and this was totally unsuitable advice. Compensation in the form of capital was placed back into the clients pension fund.
In summary please do not lead the ex-pats in Spain to believe a regulator will compensate on risk orientation advice. The FSA in the UK will NOT instruct the fund provider/adviser on compensation in the area of investment/savings but it is doing in the case of pension advise.
>From a personal point of view as well as business I am considering giving adice on the Costa Del Sol and using FSA rules/ principles. This will involve a complete audit trail from start to finish and so if any complaint arises the client and any other third parties who wish to be involved can view the first visit information gathering(documented) in addition to recommendations and solutions--all documented.
You have my permission to print the above on your web site if you feel it may be useful.
MLIA (dip) UK qualified adviser since 1988
Further to my comments yesterday I have given further thought and would add
1)You were employed by two appointed rep/tied agents. Therefore you have "run" a business within financial services and the biggest culprits in the UK for mis-selling have been tied advisers. Over 80% of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman are against the same.
2) You state you have passed the Financial Planning Certificate - so what! To us that is the equivalent of an "o" level in financial planning. A 12 year child has passed it. Most administrators are required to pass FPC - advisers are not allowed near a client without Advanced qualifications - and you anonymous are thinking of doing onshore, offshore and tax planning for expats? Maybe after a few years of research and learning the laws throughout Europe then yes!
People like you worry us as you have never had to establish compliance regimes, pay PI cover, pay regulator fees, deal with arbitration services or other - indeed you will have never have had to deal with a complaint - it will have been done centrally (yes you may have had to do a mini report - but it is not the same). You will have never had to set up best advice systems - indeed as a tied agent you are not required to give real "best advice". The worst advisers we have come across are tied - think they know it but actually have experience of about 1% of the marketplace.
That said - we have never met or spoken with you - so it is not entirely fair to tarnish with the same brush. It just seems a little naive with an anonymous email - with criticism about our action group's stance and then announcing, in a fairly blasé manner , "I was thinking of setting up here in Spain"!
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 19:15:11 +0200
To: HFconsults@aol.com, email@example.com
Thanks for your comments. Why the anonymity? If you have nothing to hide and provide honest advice in your field of expertise then taking cover behind anonymity seems unreasonable!
I am pleased that you are happy to work within a compliant financial services regime. Presumably before you proceed to conduct insurance or investment business you will be fully registered with the appropriate regulatory authority and have met all of their requirements?
Of course, no investor has a right of complaint if investment losses occur PROVIDE that the advice provide in the first instance was in accordance with the clients tolerance to investment risk and designed to meet his objectives. In most of the cases we represent the initial advice was overly aggressive and the investors who depended on the honesty of their advisor were left with losses due to market circumstances which they did not understand or were misled into believing were non-existent. It is the duty of a financial advisor to recommend that an individual does not invest in anything unless he understands and accepts the level of risk involved and where this is not acceptable to leave the funds in the bank or building society. This is not going to earn the advisor a bean but it is the only honest approach to clients who cannot afford to lose money whatever the circumstances.
The biggest claim to regulators is due to losses that arise due to inappropriate advice. In our group we have over 400 families that invested with Henry Woods most retired and all sold the exact same products ( high Technology) all lost money, 20 families were forced to sell their homes and some had to be repatriated.
Until advisers appreciate their responsibilities in this area the investor remains vulnerable to misselling.
I am not able to reproduce your email since you refuse to be identified.