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FSA loses bid to stop IFA's harassment court case

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A county court has rejected the FSA’s bid to quash a case brought by a retired IFA who is suing the regulator for harassment.

In August, Money Marketing revealed that John Calland is suing the FSA under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, alleging the FSA, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service worked together to unfairly progress loss assessments and solicit pension complaints from former clients.

Calland, who retired as principal of Calland Insurance and Mortgage Services in December 1997 and is now 72, has been involved in a 10-year battle with the three authorities which has seen the Financial Services Compensation Scheme reprimanded for bullying and the Financial Ombudsman Service reproached for soliciting complaints.

The FSA submitted an application to strike out the case.

It said that Calland’s harassment allegations are unfounded and that it was carrying out its pension review duties, set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Designation of Pensions Provisions Instrument 2001.

It added that it has a wide statutory immunity to claims for damages relating to its activities under the FSMA unless its actions are carried out in bad faith or in contravention of the Human Rights Act 1998.

After hearing the application at Exeter county court, deputy district judge Karen Rea rejected the FSA’s bid to strike out the claim.

In her judgment, she says: “I consider that the respondent’s case is better than merely arguable, and that, therefore, it has a real prospect of success, in that it is not fanciful, false or imaginary and I do not find his case improbable.”

Foot Anstey partner David Turner, who is representing Calland, says: “This judgment is a good outcome for Mr Calland, it is also in my view a correct one.”

Calland says: “Since the judge considers my case to have a reasonable chance of success, it is unacceptable that the FSA’s complaints department, and subsequently the Complaints Commissioner, declined to investigate my complaint.”

The FSA says: “We intend to appeal against the county court judgment. We are issuing no further comment.”

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Readers' comments (32)

  • its interesting that the FSA's argument is that they are immune from the law!

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  • Hector must be enjoying the accountability that he claims his organisation longs for.

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  • The FSA are immune from prosecution unless they are found not to be acting in good faith, or as stated above in Breach of the HRA.

    Although not a government department (tehnically a company limited by guarantee) the FSA is provided with this immunity on the same basis as civil servants of the government......go figure! lol

    Not a government department but created by government, subject to same immunity as civil servants, but not civil servants... web would be forgiven for thinking they were run by government wouldnt you!

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  • Just a shame that the protection for IFAs that a judgement in favour of Mr Calland would provide precedent for has not been achieved this way before. Lots of posturing and no action from AIFA, IFADU etc - hope they all contribute to the cost of providing him with a barrister with the appropriate expertise to take on the FSA's army that we are all paying for.

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  • Yes Nick, they need to be immune from the law because of the number of mistakes they make!

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  • " it has a wide statutory immunity to claims for damages relating to its activities"
    Does this not sound absolutely terrifying?

    Good luck to this chap. No one and no organisation should be unnacountable. Accountability is the cornerstone of democracy.

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  • So the playground bully is finally brought to answer for his despicable actions.
    Well done John Calland.
    It's a typical kneejerk response by an organisation that has no moral fibre and a limitless supply of (OUR) money to shroud wave and say they'll appeal against the judgement to allow the case to be heard.
    They probably don't like the idea of their ghastly doings to be brought out into the daylight.for all of us to see.
    What a bunch of wasters.

    PS I do hope Moneymarketing gives this case full airing when it finally comes to court. We need to know the ftrue extent of the bully's behaviour.

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  • It seems that the FSA is like the regime from North Korea - do as we tell you and you cannot argue with us. ie we are immune from all.

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  • Poor little FSA darlings, to be forced to answer a claim against their draconian bullying tactics.

    We will soon find out what being on the other end is really like.

    I hope this guy succeeds in getting judgement against the FSA and is not tempted to take an offer of settlement out of court.

    We need such precedent then we can truly be deemed human under the HRA, until now, IFAs have constantly been denied their rights under the law by an unaccountable regulator, whose actions have not covered themselves in glory since they were formed.

    Bring Back FIMBRA and LAUTRO I say, let's get proper rules, not flim flam wooly worded uninterpretable nonsense.

    Let's have a compensation scheme funded by Product levies.

    An Ombudsman service not answerable to the FSA but conducted on a legal basis

    And why not go one step further and trash the RDR and save us and the consumers billions of pounds in wasted fees.

    Fat Chance

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  • Anonymous | 5 Jan 2012 9:12 am

    Give me a call so that I can put you straight on a few misconceptions, whoever you are.

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