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Personal Touch significantly hikes monthly network fees

Personal Touch Financial Services is hiking its monthly fees for appointed representatives following a radical overhaul of its fee structure.

Under the current structure, IFA firms pay a flat monthly fee of £310 while mortgage, protection, equity release and private medical insurance adviser firms pay £125 a month. In addition, Personal Touch retains between 10 and 20 per cent of firms’ commission, depending on the type and quantity of business written.

From 1 November, all PTFS ARs will pay a monthly fee for the firm plus additional fees for PI and FSA fees for each individual adviser.

Firms will be charged £265 a month, which includes £200 for member services and £65 for professional indemnity insurance.

Firms will be charged £102 a month for each individual mortgage, protection, equity release and PMI broker and £911 for each adviser that offers investment, pension, mortgage and protection advice.

For each individual investment and pension adviser, firms will be charged an additional £834, which is made up of a £462 member support charge, a £46 PI charge and £326 for FSA fees.

PTFS will continue to retain between 10 and 20 per cent of commission protection, equity release and PMI business and will continue to retain around 5 basis points on mortgage commission.

A PTFS spokeswoman says: “This is our first fee review for nearly three years and despite the rapidly increasing cost of regulation the changes ensure we remain highly competitive.”

Which Network director Gary Watts says: “I think PTFS will lose a significant number of advisers because of this hike.”

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  • Jill Turner 27th September 2012 at 9:01 pm

    The figures in the article don’t make sense

  • Sarah 21st September 2012 at 11:35 am

    I think they must be trying to wind down the business as they would realise that they will lose the majority of their members by increasing their fees so unreasonably. I can`t see how they can justify this, I have no choice but to leave, I really don`t want the hassle but have to.

  • Fat Mortgage Bloke 21st September 2012 at 6:02 am

    Turkeys vote for early Xmas……

    Networks are just fleas living off a dogs back

  • Martin McGuiness 20th September 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Personal Touch are a joke. They are hiking the fees by a multiple of 4 and increasing retentions for the vast majority. I’ve been with them for about a year and find their administration terrible and their communication even worse. Needless to say I won’t be paying the increaseed fees and I can’t imagine many other members will be either.

    When all their members leave and start rebroking policies PTFS will have to chase them for the money. Some will pay and others won’t but I’m sure noone will be in a rush to repay them the clawback. Good luck to them managing that administrative nightmare given that they’ll be cutting their staff numbers as they won’t need as many to deal with the 300 or 400 members they have left. I’m sure the providers will be rushing to offer such a large network great terms and conditions for their members. And I’m sure there’ll be an abundance of advisers rushing to join at those”competitve rates”. If your networks not growing then it’s dying!

    The only thing I can think of is that they have an alternative agenda.

  • Mark (Ex PTFS AR) 20th September 2012 at 7:41 pm

    It looks like the idiots are now running the asylum at PTFS. Their mission statement launched just a few weeks ago states ” To be the financial services community that everybody wants to joins and no one wants to leave”. The terms and conditions that they have outlined certainly will put that theory to the test. Personally I think it’s a case of can the last person to leave turn the light out !!!!

  • Phil 20th September 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Well, they have to pay rent on the nice Solihull offices now that the rent free period Martin Wilson negotiated has ended. Or rather we have to pay it for them.

  • AA 20th September 2012 at 10:33 am

    Its funny reading all the ‘death of advisor market’ comments from the few. These are the doom and gloomers costing good advisors more. Soon as they disappear, the better for everyone else.

  • BFR 19th September 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I have recently went DA and wouldn’t go back. You are working for them and when they go under which they will your commissions will be lost.

  • BFR 19th September 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I have recently went DA and wouldn’t go back. You are working for them and when they go under which they will your commissions will be lost.

  • Bobby 19th September 2012 at 5:37 pm

    The FSA’s trump card is banning proc fees which is on the rader. If/when they do this it is game over as a fee only model will not work. It is just a matter of time before their complete cull of mortgage brokers is complete which has been their agenda for the last 5 years.

  • James 19th September 2012 at 4:47 pm

    An industry slowly dying of a thousand cuts. Just wait until the FSA decide they want more and more by way of fees and levies from less and less advisers. A vicious circle if ever there was.

  • Pete J 19th September 2012 at 2:01 pm

    DA is the way forward and has to be, I have been at 3 Networks. All basically taking money in the name of what, poor service levels, and our way our the highway attitude? Looking at the complaince structures that where in place they pushed the work back to the firms, over priced conveyor belt style selling all owned by the same Life firms, all offering the same props. Ultimatley you pay to keep a BDM in a BMW who emails you 3 times a week. When I mean go DA I mean go DA exclude any so called self styled DA alternatives use fully external compliance consultants.Why use mortgage clubs? Do you actually get better proc fees? No the network does and you don’t see the real fee paid anyway. Its time to change, I think of Networks as parasites, that cling to firms pushing conveyor belt products, we need choice and real individual firms going forward or the risk is that the network offering is no different to a bank, whole of market tied blah blah blah… Your basically a franchise and they earn off the back of you. Don’t think for one minute that when the obvious hits the fan the network will back you up either, if you have survived in the mortgage industry to date, then you all have something about you to deal withcompliance as mentioned earlier on network made me feel I was on my own. Afterall looking at some of the incompetence in back offices and compliance in general within Banks, Networks the FSA alike, its no rocket science, because if it was, None of us would function! I think Networks have been guilty of scaremongering in the past and advisors have fell for it.

  • colin chapman 19th September 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I m with L&G Network….no upfront fees, payments via Proc Fee % deduction and income made on the back of protection sales.

    Granted the sole tie may deter some but in the current climate but I don t think there any better places right now.

    Financial security being top of anyones agenda – i doubt anyone can match L&G for that credential.

    Great mortgage club and overall support.

  • Dan McGeehan 19th September 2012 at 12:26 pm

    As ever with PTFS they fail on communication and one has to wonder what shape the network will be in 12-18 months down the line. Yes I will agree costs have risen however with the Network having profits of around 1 Million last year did they have to rise so steeply with no reduction in the amount that is taken from proc fees.
    Communication – we were initially advised that Fees would be increasing probably in the Q1 2013 a few months ago and that we would get plenty of notice. Fast forward to last Friday when we were told that we would be getting a letter over the weekend and a phonecall on Monday. Neither happened and I got the information instead from some forums. This is shocking but not a suprise from PTFS. This could easily have been handled by PTFS sending an email to all members last week or providing a message on Toolbox that an announcement regarding fees would be available for download from Toolbox at a specific time for everyone. The letters sent out where all generic other than the addressee. Which brings us to the notice period which surely should have been 3-6 months to allow firms to bed in changes to handle the new fees and allow firms to move elsewhere if that is what they want. However it appears PTFS do not care and are just looking to earn extra money ASAP.
    Future – I worry what state the network will be in 12-18 months down the line as I can see an exodus of large IFA’s firms moving probably direct rather than pay £834 per adviser per month. This will obviously leave the same cost base for the firms remaining and this will either lead to higher costs or redundancies within the network. It could also impact the remaining IFA’s as they are offered less favourable terms by providers due to the reduction in business from PTFS members. Customers could also lose out from IFA’s who have been in the industry for a long time thinking its better just to call it a day and that knowledge will be lost.
    Personally speaking I will be remaining with them however with the increased fees one of which is to cover staff costs their service has to change. Communication must improve with all the media at their disposal which includes email, toolbox and even a twitter account there is no excuse. They need to start asking their members what they would like to see changed or implemented rather than the other way around.

  • GARY 19th September 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I think we will eventually start to see the end to Networks. They have had their day & are another cog or layer that really need not be there.
    PTFS hiking their fees may seem a good idea at the moment, but the damage has now been done at a time most people were starting to look more closely at the eh Honister.
    We are now looking at going DA

  • paul 19th September 2012 at 11:27 am

    the grass is never greener on the other side, all Networks will have to increase their charges, its important that good Networks survive as well, being a member of a Network that fails is a worse nightmare to deal with, I am sure that the Directors & Board at PTFS are running their business prudently

  • AA 19th September 2012 at 11:26 am

    Totally agree, PTFS will lose a ‘significant’ number of advisors. It seems PTFS want to get rid of alot of advisors as its costing them too much. Those who dont advise and sit on renewed commision.

    PTFS should cap minimum earnings per annum i.e. £20k-£30k. Thats approx 5K per annum minimum for regulatory costs.

    Those brokers who submit alot of income should not be charged more in comparision to those who submit less!

    Who sits on these fee structure meetings?

  • laurie 19th September 2012 at 11:02 am

    Dear Anonymous 10.33 – slowly being strangled ? I think having the s**t kicked out of it would be more appropriate !

  • phil stoney 19th September 2012 at 10:33 am

    fees are going up and yet potential commissions are slowly being cut, this will slowly drive more advisers out of the business. I expect other networks to follow this price rise. As a sole trader this is bad news and is a real kick in the teeth, it is a worrying trend as costs will only continue to rise. it makes me question whether it is worth continuing in financial services. The business is slowly being strangled

  • Patrick Reeve 19th September 2012 at 10:13 am

    It is also worthy of note that we have only been given 6 weeks notice of this change.

    Communication, as ever, woeful at PTFS.

  • John Norfolk 19th September 2012 at 10:13 am

    I think the time has come within the industry for all advisers to assess their current position regarding the charges they have to pay as there is a significant difference between some networks and costs are an important item that has to be considered in the current marketplace