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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I had an interview, with an Independent Financial Adviser,

Customer Question

I had an interview, with an Independent Financial Adviser, on 15 March 2015, and he agreed to appoint me, as an insurance adviser (Life), within his firm. I gave him the completed, regulatory, forms, on 20 March, and he submitted them, online to the FCA, on 31 March. I have made more than 12 follow up calls, emails and 1 face to face visit, to ask him what is happening with my application and each time he tells me that it is still being processed by the FCA. I have been told, by the FCA, that an application for an insurance adviser, within an existing firm, does not need to be approved by them. It is a matter for the Firm Principal to vet me and make a decision. I left my existing PAYE employment, on 20 May, and am not currently earning any money. I have applied to be authorised, with another firm, and they say it will be approved by 1 July. Can I take legal action, against the initial firm, due to their incompetence, to recover £3k in lost income, as I cannot work until I am approved.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Did you sign an employment or consultancy agreement? Did this have a start date in it?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. No contract, or agreement signed. I signed and completed the FCA regulatory forms.

I have numerous emails from the Advisory firm Principal (prompted by my request) advising me that he is chasing the FCA up and they haven't approved me yet.

The issue is that I am now aware that the FCA does not need to approve an insurance adviser and that is what I was joining his firm to do. He is well aware of the fact that I can only advise on insurance, as I don't have the necessary qualifications to advise on investments, or pensions, which is when I would need FCA approval.

My case is that his incompetence has caused me to lose a month's income.

I believe that the FCA has since responded to him, to confirm that I don't need to be authorised, but he doesn't want to admit this error to me. Therefore, I believe that he is deliberately putting me off so that I will give up and join another firm. I actually have done this and I will be approved (by the firm, not the FCA!) on 1 July, after I complete their induction course, but this has still left me without an income for a month.

There is also a further piece of information, that I feel is relevant. On 12 May, I rang the FCA, to ask why my approval was delayed and I spoke to the specific Case Manager, who told me that they had emailed the firm asking for copies of my I.D, on 9 April, but they had not received a response. (I had received this request, from the firm, at that time, and sent the documents the next day). The Case Manager agreed to accept the documents, from me, via email, and told me the case would be finalised the next day. I advised the firm (in a very polite and friendly email) of what had happened and they reacted badly and told me that the FCA had breached Data Protection, by speaking to me, and they made a Complaint to the FCA!!

I then went to his office and had serious words with him and his secretary, about making this complaint, that I believed would hold up my application (at this time I didn't know that I didn't even need approval). He said that he would guarantee that it wouldn't. Also, his secretary was very abusive to me.

Therefore, my feeling is that the relationship has soured and his Secretary has said that she couldn't work with me (this is my conjecture).

Just to be clear...I wouldn't work for this firm, now, if they were the last firm on earth! I have made other arrangements and I will be fine, going forward. But, this firm's incompetence, has cost me £3000, and I don't believe that they should get away with treating me like this, as I have to pay my mortgage, like everyone else.

NB. I am still receiving responses, to my emails, saying that the FCA haven't finalised my case and he is still trying.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your response.

Can you please cancel this question, as I actually needed an answer before now.

I presume I will get a full refund of my initial payment, yes?