Here’s a Top 10 of which no one wants to be a part. Fines handed out by the FCA totalled almost £216m, all of which goes to the Treasury’s ‘Consolidated Fund’. Where it goes from there seems a little unclear, and there have been calls on a number of occasions for it to be channelled back to cover the regulator’s running costs and so reduce the fees which the likes of us, and therefore ultimately you as our clients, pay. By far the biggest contributors are banks had up for anti-money laundering failings, who, in this respect, have become ‘the usual suspects’; and there’s an insurance broker in for the same reason and a couple for pension transfers into dodgy investments, another very usual suspect. The depressing thing is that, although the list of banks changes (last year Nat West, this time Santander), the reason for the fines this year is pretty much the same as last. Which seems to imply that a) the fines aren’t working and/or enough and therefore b) they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it in the first place. In the words of The Stranglers (kids etc.), ‘Something Better Change’.
“Financial advice provides £47,000 wealth uplift in a decade”
After a meeting of financial advisers this week, a younger member of my team asked me if I thought there were actually too many financial advisers. ‘How can there be?’, was my first reaction, ’there were over 100,000 of us in the ‘90s, now there are only around 25,000.