Poor management and complaints handling failures have seen an IFA firm cop a £42,000 fine from the FSA.
The regulator found Bristol-based Kilminster Financial Management was failing to treat its customers fairly by taking too long to deal with complaints.
It also says the firm failed to monitor staff and keep adequate records of training and competence between 2004 and 2006.
Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement, says: “Kilminster did not implement systems to ensure its customers were treated fairly and we found a number of failings which contributed to poor quality service.
“We have been very clear that firms are accountable for ensuring this is done and that appropriate systems are both implemented and maintained.”
The regulator also says Kilminster failed to implement adequate procedures to co-operate with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
It highlighted the fact the ombudsman referred the company to the FSA on two occasions for failing to pay awards promptly and the FSA also wrote to Kilminster regarding two further awards.
Kilminster had previously been warned about various aspects of its practice. In April 2000, the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) issued a warning to Kilminster which resulted in remedial action and, in May 2001, the PIA warned the firm about failure to comply with regulations on record keeping, training and compliance procedures.
Kilminster says it has responded to its shortcomings, employing more compliance staff, increasing management oversight of compliance issues, and employing an independent consultant to review various procedures.
The FSA took note of the changes and says it reduced the fine by 30% from £60,000 as Kilminster agreed to settle at an early stage of the FSA investigation.
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