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PFS sorry for welcome email and blame IT

The Personal Finance Society has apologized for sending a welcome email to advisers, many of whom are longstanding members.

On Twitter numerous advisers checked with each other if they had received the same welcome message from the PFS.

Financial planner Ed Gibson asked if anyone else had received the welcome message from the body with adviser Sebastian Riemann replying “it would be easier asking who has not received one”.

Gibson told Money Marketing that originally he thought it was spam as the message had misspelled his name but concluded it could be a “widespread error”.

This was after he realized other advisers also received the message.

PFS chief digital information officer Mat Mallett via LinkedIn on March 26 said: “I’d like to apologize to any members who received a message from us in error on Friday (March 24) evening.

“The message, which welcomed recipients to CII membership, was automatically generated when we applied an update to our new customer contact system.

“We’re sorry for any confusion caused and no action is required.”

PFS interim CEO Don MacIntyre also apologized to members but added: “The content of the email was a draft template that was never intended to be issued, was not approved by myself or anyone else from the PFS and had not been written with PFS members in mind .”

MacIntyre added that he is “confident” the Chartered Insurance Institute is making “progress in improving longstanding IT issues affecting both memberships”.

He blamed this incident due to a “migration to a new CRM system that occurred over the weekend”.

Financial Planning Partners planner David Hearne in response to the PFS message tweeted: “Welcome to the Personal Finance Society’ Thanks. Only been a chartered member for a decade”.

Hearne had an issue with the fact he was being welcomed to a community of insurance professionals as well and said: “You’ve become part of the largest community of insurance professionals’ Insurance? Eh?”

He added: “This email appears to ignore the long-standing membership of current PFS members, and confuse them as working in the insurance profession.

“At a time when the relationship between the CII and PFS is under strain, this will only heighten the calls for the PFS to be able to operate independently, and perhaps even be completely separated from the CII.”

The CII and PFS feud escalated towards the end of 2022 when on December 21, the CII surprised PFS members with an early Christmas surprise.

It appointed three new institute directors to the PFS board with immediate effect.

The CII also said it was aiming to form a majority on the PFS board, with the appointment of an additional institute director scheduled after a 30-day consultation.

Some PFS members at the time referred to this move as a ‘Christmas Coup’.

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