8 February 2019. Any set of rules is only as complicated as the author wants to make it. Likewise, any negotiation. We are told Brexit will make it complex for UK advisers to service UK expatriates in the EU. No doubt it will, but that need not be the case. If the politicians and regulators on all sides used common sense and were pragmatic then it could be as easy for an EU-resident Briton to obtain advice from his UK adviser as it is for he or she to be mailed their home newspaper. Let clients elect to have their advice regulated from the location of origin, their UK IFA’s office, with the full protection of the FCA, FOS, and FSCS duly afforded. Let them choose to renounce any recourse whatsoever to the regulators and compensation schemes in their country of residence so they are no burden on the EU state in which they reside. UK advisers could then deliver advice to Brenda in Barcelona with all the protections afforded to Carrie in Castleford. It won’t happen of course because it is too simple. It would remove layers of pointless rules rather than creating them. Even more shockingly it might lead to the need for less EU bureaucrats. The GDPR, of course, would still be an obstacle, because that is the real point of it, to be a make-work scheme that is an obstacle to common sense. This results in absurdities. At PIMFA’s annual dinner when we asked for an advance list of attendees, we were told that GDPR prevented its distribution. A much-respected friend who is a very sincere and devout Catholic recently explained that whereas his church had historically circulated a list of sick parishioners for whom the congregation would be asked to pray, that was now no longer possible thanks to GDPR. He is also, ironically, a devout Remainer. That, combined with his faith, should at least keep him out of Donald Tusk’s hell! This is just one reason why I and many more voted to leave the EU. Because it will always choose to create tangled bureaucratic nightmares over pragmatism and common sense.
11 March 2018. This is worth watching. Harry Markopolos is a true hero. Watch both parts and around the 20-minute mark in part 2 you’ll hear Harry’s advice to use small family firms like ours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfwJ06hc0_8
21 September 2016. Another scam we identified even though the regulator (FCA) didn’t and still hasn’t:
We’ve busted quite a few scams over the years, helping our clients dodge some pretty big bullets along the way. In 2015 a gang of scammers tried to rip off one of our clients. We identified the bank accounts they were using and the main culprits. Then we set up a sting operation here at our offices where one was arrested.
In 2009 I was approached in 2009 ago by another ‘adviser’ pushing a Bernie Madoff style scam. I was offered £50,000 a time as an inducement to introduce clients. I reported him to the FSA. The FSA did nothing though they did assure me that the matter had been passed to the fraud squad and that they would be in touch. Needless to say, they weren’t and a year after I first reported it, he was still pushing his scam to other IFAs. With the FT’s help we finally spurred the FSA into action and he was closed down.