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8 August 2016

The majority of advisers had fewer than five complaints filed against them last year, according to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) data.

According to advice firm returns on the FCA’s Gabriel reporting system, where were disclosed under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 9,657 individual advisers received between one and five complaints in 2015.

Of these returns, 130 advisers had between 5 and 9 complaints. Only 26 advisers recorded 10 to 19 complaints over the year. Eight advisers had between 20 and 49 complaints in 2015. None had more than 50.

As part of the FOI request, New Model Adviser® asked for more details about the eight advisers with more than 20 complaints raised against them. However, the regulator said it could not disclose any more details due to data protection concerns.

Firms do not have to submit complaints data if the adviser has no complaints against them, so the FCA could not extract the number of advisers with no complaints against them for 2015.

According to research by the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (Apfa), there were approximately 24,000 FCA registered advisers in 2015, meaning that around 10,000 were likely to have received no complaints for the year.

Of the submitted complaints, 567 were not included because firms incorrectly recorded them against ‘Adviser Unknown’ rather than a named individual.  The FCA said it was working with firms to correct this error and prevent recurrence.

By David Petty

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