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Adviser Live 2008: FOS appeals would slow down system says Hunt Review manager

Introducing a formal appeals process for Financial Ombudsman Service decisions would slow down the complaints handling process and decrease accessibility to the service, according to Hunt Review project manager Chris Kenny.

Speaking at Adviser 2008 in London today, Kenny said despite adviser anger over Lord Hunt’s stance, an appeals process would only benefit a small number of people and the case for formal appeals “just didn’t wash”.

He said introducing a formal appeals process may encourage parties to seek out legal assistance during the complaints resolution process, which should be avoided.

Kenny highlighted the need for a senior post at the FOS that is solely responsible for maintaining a high quality of decisions.

This is in line with accusations from ex-FOS adjudicator Jane Sanders who told Money Marketing this week that the workload volumes for FOS staff are too high and the quality of decisions suffer as a result.

Kenny also stressed the importance of ensuring the FOS stays within its remit and does not become a quasi-regulator.

He said: “We expect a good number of our recommendations to be implemented and quite quickly. Independent reviews are only as good as the action that follows them. The model ain’t broke but it does need a lot of fixing..”

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Brunning Newman Houghton is a directly regulated IFA which advises a broad range of private and corporate clients. Most new and inherited cases involve lump sums. Whatever the tax wrapper – onshore or offshore bond, Isa or pension – success depends on how the investment performs.

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