We kept a record of the number of FSP “offs” and “ons” as recorded in press releases by the FSB since 18 February last year.
*Suspensions due to non-payment of levies, non-submission of compliance reports and/or financial statements.
For clarity on the matter, we approached the FSB, who responded as follows:
The regulatory action carried out in terms of section 9 of the FAIS Act can either be a suspension or a withdrawal. A license normally get suspended for a minor rectifiable contravention and such suspension endures for a certain period i.e. two months and in some instances three months. However, a suspended license can eventually be withdrawn for failure to comply with the conditions for lifting of a suspension. A licence is withdrawn immediately for serious contraventions which are not rectifiable (character qualities of honesty and integrity). The proportion of such withdrawals is very small.
A suspended license can either end up with the lifting of a suspension or withdrawal for failure to comply with the conditions for lifting a suspension and therefore the figure for the suspended cases cannot be cumulative, for example, as at today the total number of licenses that remain suspended are 365 and that includes 152 cases that were suspended yesterday. (I only included the totals in the table above in my enquiry to the FSB, hence the respondent did not have access to the whole table – Editor).
The total number of withdrawn licences is 3 257 and that does not include lapses, the total lapsed licenses is 5 144.
The latter figures quoted above refers to the big picture since 2004, and not only the period indicated in the table above.
Sadly for the alarmists, the figure of 5 144 lapsed licences cannot be equated to X number of professional advisors having left the industry. Included in this figure is for instance lawyers and accountants who thought there was a business opportunity which did not materialise, as well as FSPs who switched the format of their business to a CC, and had to apply for a new licence. Certainly there were also people who left the industry, but that happens every year, and in every industry, as far as I know.
It is, nevertheless, sad to see that an approximate nett loss of 1 601 FSPs resulted from failure to rectify the problem leading to the suspension of their licences – and this over the last 18 months only. One gets the idea that they were the ones who closed up shop in view of the new environment, sadly taking with them their knowledge, expertise and particularly, their old-fashioned values which always put the client first.