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IFA continues name and shame regime; suspends member

The Institute of Financial Advisers has continued along its path of "naming and shaming" advisers, and has placed Timaru-based member Neville Cant on an interim suspension for failing to respond to queries over several complaints.

Wednesday, December 9th 2009, 6:30AM 4 Comments

by Paul McBeth

Chief executive David Hutton said, in his latest newsletter, three "seemingly unrelated" complaints about Cant had been made to the IFA. Cant failed to respond to the complaints, which are series in nature and warrant investigation and possible action, and his membership to the association was put on interim suspension until he contacts the IFA.

Hutton said it was important to note that Cant has not been found guilty of any of the allegations, and that "the provision is to prevent delay in dealing with complaints."

"We wanted to make sure the public are aware" after Cant failed to respond within the IFA's timeframe, said president Lyn McMorran. "We can't afford to ignore it."

In May, the IFA named two advisers were named after they pleaded guilty to breaching the industry body's Code of ethics and professional conduct over investments in finance companies, and fined a combined $67,000 to cover the costs of the disciplinary procedures.

McMorran said the matter is now up to Cant, and if he wants to regain his membership to the association he will need to respond to the allegations.

Though the IFA cannot prevent him from practising, McMorran does not think the suspension will be taken lightly by clients or regulators.

"I don't think it will be viewed very well when he applies for Authorised Financial Adviser status," she said.

The IFA's "name and shame" regime was put under scrutiny by rival association Professional Advisers Association earlier this year, with then chief executive Dave McMillan saying he had fielded calls that the initiative had left advisers "extremely exposed."

 

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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Comments from our readers

On 9 December 2009 at 7:36 am Independent Observer said:
Unlike many in the industry, I am supportive of the IFA's approach on these matters.

If the industry is to have any teeth, then it must be recognized as having consequences for those who are unwilling to meet its standards.
On 11 December 2009 at 10:27 am Marcus said:
I suspect Mr. Cant was given sound legal advice to sit tight and do nothing. The IFA's approach to such complaints this year has been atrocious. The most recent case to hit the news was the unfortunate adviser was found to have been NOT guilty as charged, yet has to meet a huge bill in legal expenses incurred to simply defend herself. The IFA seems to take the view that an adviser is guilty until proven innocent. In Mr. Cant's case, fronting up to his own association (membership of which costs him a measurable amount of money) is going to cost him dearly, whatever the outcome.
If the complainants are so sure of their case, let them take him to a court of law - at least Mr. Cant will have the benefit of his PI policy to meet his defence costs.
On 11 December 2009 at 9:10 pm Mike said:
24 July 2009 - The Registrar of Companies has laid criminal charges in Timaru District Court against Investment Management Limited and company directors Neville Ian Cant and Rhys David Morgan.

I suppose the IFA could have waited for the criminal charges to be dealt with by the District Court before taking action. However you can just imagine the outcry if the IFA did nothing.
On 14 December 2009 at 9:27 am Marcus said:
Oh!!! Charges laid in JULY??? Criminal??? Sounds like he has bigger things to worry about than the IFA...
Commenting is closed

 

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