I miss the lovely Mrs Merton. Remember that great moment when she sat on the settee and said to Boy George, 'Boy, I can call you Boy can't I? Karma, Karma, Karma chameleon, what was all that about then.'
Looking back, it's easy to see our mistakes and successes.
Another one was the Monty Python sketch 'what did the Romans ever do for us then'
Often people cannot see what is good and what is bad in what they are doing at the time.
So picture a scene at a beach bar in twenty years time with two bankers chatting:
'Why is that frizbee getting bigger' one says. Then it hits him slap in the face.
'What did the FSA ever do for us then?' his friend adds.
'Well do you remember back in the 90's we thought that we could now be financial advisers even though we were actually only bankers, you know, administrators of money'
'I remember, then we kept getting fined lots by the FSA for selling PPI and precipice structured contracts that we didn't understand. Of course it might have been appropriate that we were told to close our salesforce down, sack them and retrain them, but the FSA didn't ask us to do that'
' Yeah, then we showed we weren't monitoring pension transfers properly.'
'And remember they spotted that customers were far more likely to get a complaint with us than those IFA people.'
'Then we spent most of our time selling investment bonds at 7% or 8% commission with a token ISA thrown in, but they didn't come in and close us down.'
'Then of course there was that calamity with mirror funds in bonds where we were selling them as if they were external funds. The truth turned out that they were actually mutated versions where the customer would have been better off by some 36% over three years if they were in the real thing, yet once again the FSA didn't do anything.'
'Of course there was that cracking idea where we bought all those cds from Woolworths that weren't worth anything'.
'Werent they CDO's' banker boy replied.
'Same thing, and we got away with that'. 'Yeah, then our lending process went pearshaped when we gave all the umbrellas to people in the sunshine and took them away in the rain. That is funny'
'Oh that's right, and then we had that RDR where they basically ignored all that gone on and promoted us to 'sales advisers'.
'Yeah, you are right.... What did the FSA ever do for us?
Peter McGahan is managing director at Worldwide Financial Planning
The views expressed in this blog are those of the individual.IFAonline
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Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation