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The scenario below is obviously spoof and bears no relation to fact. Any similarity between anything real is purely co-incidental and not intended. The purpose of this post is clearly humour not based on

Careers Officer to Graduate How about being an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser)  ?

Graduate What is involved ?

Careers Officer Well, it's simple really. All you do is act in the best interests of the client to resolve their financial problems, many of which they do not realise they have - act as a financial engineer and give the client the choice of how you get paid <but do NOT do this on Annuities as the practise of charging a fee and rebating the commission has been outlawed now and do NOT rebate back to the client any commission on a Pension case as the client is not allowed to benefit before retirement>

Graduate This sounds hard work, but appeals to my moral sense of helping people, especially if it takes the strain off of the State system thus improving everyone's position. By this route I can help both those who can afford it to better themselves whilst allowing those who can't access to benefits which would otherwise not be available due to the cake not being large enough for everyone to have a piece regardless.

Careers Officer  yes, that's the attitude - however there are a couple of points I am obliged to disclose to you BEFORE you sign up an employment contract or training course, they are:-

1. Through Individual Registration of the (current) Regulator - the PIA, you possibly automatically opt-out of the legal system in this Country. This has yet to be tested in Law, but you may still be fined even if you won a Court case for failing the Regulators rules even though the Court case may show the rules as illegal. This is known as Regulators Vendetta.

2. Even if you leave the industry, your liabilities will follow you - even through Death via your Estate thus the people like your wife into whose hands your Estate has passed. This also applies if you retire. You really need run off PI cover, shame it is no longer available, so forget retiring unless you can find some chump to buy your liabilities. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.

3. You face a fine from a complainant who approaches the PIA Ombudsman, irrelevant of the outcome (although the Ombudsman may recover their costs, YOU are not allowed to). If there is a common thread, but a number of complainants then you may have the fine per individual. Your PI cover will however treat this differently as it will see it as a collective claim and pay out a lower amount if it is deemed you have done wrong so the balance comes out of your pocket. This is in addition to the initial fine levied by the PIAOB. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.

4. You could, in the course of your client dealings, arrange a Mortgage for someone. You can only have the application processed by a Mortgagee who is satisfied that you are Licenced by the MCCB (used to be the MCRI). Unfortunately, in so doing you agree to be held responsible for ALL products and services under clause 2 & 10 of the 10 commandments. This means you could be liable in ways those that flout these rules are not. This may involve proceedings against YOU for the services of the
Mortgagee, Solicitor, Surveyor or Uncle Tom Cobbly and this may include the Arbitration system whose award could be £100,000 against you. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.

5. No matter how well the arrangement for your client would benefit them and irrelevant of how hard you have worked, if the client dumps your particular mortgage application for ANY reason, or takes longer than 6 months to draw down the funds, you may only receive about £5.00, because that is all the Office of Fair Trading thinks you are worth in these circumstances. The Mortgagee can however charge what they like.


6. You face liabilities in the future for EVERY TYPE OF product sale or financial advice now - because it may be re-interpreted in the future by the (then) Regulators who can create detailed “hindsight explanations” of the rules they did not offer at the time thus expecting you to interpret them. The Regulator may choose to ignore the Statute of Limitations on any sale or advice date. This means keeping records for the term of the contract or earlier encashment plus 6 years. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.

6. You must abide by Regulators rules even when not your Regulator. The bad news is that you could be found guilty of some misdemeanour because of it. An example could be the previous Regulator (LAUTRO) who made the Product Providers use unrealistic charges or growth rates, whose contracts sold during that time may well fall short of expectations now - the buck could stop at the then advisers door unless the adviser pointed out the unrealistic requirements of that Regulator to the client and recorded it by way of a signed letter from the client acknowledging this situation and the risk of it. Unfortunately no-one knows where LAUTRO is now and personal fines of those responsible in a Regulator are unheard of. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.

7. You will, no matter how hard you work for the benefit of your client, still be seen as an overpaid cowboy by others. Strangely those “others” are not required to prove their expertise by taking the exams the Government has decreed through the Regulators you must sit and those with a moral sense of right who voluntarily sit these exams are rare. Also those not qualified to make a judgement seem to carry no liability for giving dangerous blanket advice flogged through their National papers (so long as the financial section is no more than a small percentage of other articles) or Consumer periodicals, none of which are free and are thus all sold for profit. This perception you must learn to live with.

8. Avoid the new Stakeholders plan like it is the plague, until this Government give a public and recorded assurance that they will NEVER means test the benefits. You see, otherwise your client may sue you in the future for getting the client to spend money for a benefit they would otherwise have got anyway from the State. You must realise that whilst the Government requires the public present PROOF of loss when they or theirs are concerned (The DSS nee’ DHSS are a case in point over death benefits under SERPS) the same Governments will treat YOU as GUILTY unless YOU can prove your innocence at your own cost. This is another example of you opting out of the UK Legal system. You may be a member of a Network, but this could be a grey area.
9. I have probably missed some vital points and misunderstood others, so consider this a warning for all the points I have not thought of (there, now I’m sounding like a Regulator). I once read of an interview with a Labourite who suggested that the then Regulator (SIB I think it was called, they were the super power overseeing the long-to-die FIMBRA, who took over from NASDIM) should be publicly funded. It must have been a dream though, coz’ Labour are in power gladly spending anyone’s money - so long as it is not the Treasury’s. Oh, I nearly forget - I should warn you that The European Commissioners forthcoming insurance directive could introduce a Professional Liability requirement of 1,000,000 Euro’s PER claim and may be compulsory. That should see off most of the smaller IFA’s who have had the temerity to continue giving the public good advice. Mind you, if in a Network you could be better off then, but this is a grey area.

Graduate I do not need a degree to work out this is an occupation fraught with disasters waiting to happen and that once in - you can never escape.

What openings do you have to work for a Regulator - I hear that is the new growth area of non-accountability and job perks paid for by those more qualified than those doing the Regulating?


Oh, can you tell me, with the constant replacement of Regulators by newer bigger and more expensive ones, will I receive Redundancy payments every time one hits the dust if I stay a Regulator throughout, say as long as IFA’s have been around or do I simply write into my own contract as a Regulator exit clauses in my favour which the IFA members have no say about?


*************Wouldn't this be sad if true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!***************************


Sent in by A.Non.Emous.