The CII and PFS saga took another turn this week as advisers became aware of the some of the costs of previous disputes as revealed in the PFS results.
The PFS spent £850,000 on what it calls expert legal and financial advice as part of its ongoing board disputes with members and former directors who question its relations with the CII. The story was reported in Professional Adviser.
The numbers are as follows – total operating expenses with £7.99 million up from £4.7m in 2021. The overall cost of consultancy was £1.4m, a number that surely begs many more questions.
One assumes that the ‘financial advice’ is loosely accountancy related and legal is – well - legal. But it seems to fair to ask what the other consultancy is here. PR? It would be great to know how PFS work is defined in contrast to CII work. The CII was clearly doing a lot of the 'arguing' and 'reassuring'.
159 advisers (at time FTAdviser reported the story) have written to the CII calling for what they say is PFS members’ funds to be transferred from the CII to sole control of the PFS.
Amid all the fear and loathing, the CII chief executive Alan Vallance is to step down in Spring 2024. He will take over at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He probably hopes to be steering a ship navigating less troubled waters. The departure has caused even more adviser concern, of course.
The problem with wider coverage of the story is that it almost requires a republication of the timeline (over more than a decade) to even begin to get to grips with the rights and wrongs.
Some of the reporting has been too much about the immediate story and headline from where it is very difficult to make a value judgment, though New Model Adviser with its very experienced team is far ahead of the rest in terms of its methodical coverage most of the time.
Merchants Trust is sticking by its investment in SJP after FCA pressure saw the wealth manager scrap exit penalties some time in the future. It believes that fees overhaul will smooth things for the business. Time will tell.
Proposals to charge pension schemes a £10,000 levy could bring an end to the existence of small self-administered schemes, with providers urging the government to reconsider as FTAdviser reports.
Earlier this month the DWP proposed changes to the levy on occupational and personal pension schemes.
One of three options is to increase rates by 4 per cent each year and have an additional premium rate of £10,000 for small schemes (with membership up to 10,000) from 2026.