Investment body still to reject single applicant

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The Independent Online
The Personal Investment Authority (PIA), the new retail regulator, has not yet rejected a single company's application for membership.

The authority comprises former Lautro members, mainly insurance companies and fund managers, and former Fimbra members, independent financial advisers.

One part of its remit was to provide a tougher regulatory regime than that of its predecessors and to clean up an industry that has been dogged by controversy.

Of the 5,042 applications for membership of the authority so far, only 3,247 have been admitted. Of those that have been admitted 2,825 were members of Fimbra, while the others were members of Lautro, IMRO or SIBRO.

Will Hastings, spokesman for the authority, said that while no firm had yet been rejected, the number of former Fimbra members that had decided not to press ahead with their applications had reached 143.

Mr Hastings said that "some may have chosen to join other companies".

The number of Lautro members that had given up with their applications to become mebers so far had already reached six.

From the 454 Lautro members that have applied, 353 have been accepted by the authority.

Mr Hastings said those Lautro companies that had given up with their applications "were all very small companies. There are no significant names among them".

Even if a company has been finally rejected for membership by the authority's committee, it still has the right to appeal.

The authority refused to reveal whether any company had taken its application to the appeal stage.

Knight Williams, a financial adviser that has been embroiled in a dispute with many of its clients about its advice, is one of those former members of Fimbra that has yet to receive authorisation.