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Advisers say providers should take more blame

IFAs believe providers should take more responsibility for products that provoke complaints from consumers.

At Money Marketing&#39s round table last week, IFAs hit out at providers and the FSA over products such as precipice bonds, endowments and pension transfers, saying they should shoulder some of the blame for consumer complaints.

King Associates senior partner Sue King asked chief ombudsman Walter Merricks why there is no responsibility taken by providers over misselling claims, given that prov-iders produce the marketing for the products.

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bam-ford said the projections on endowments came from the FSA and Tenet Group director Geoffrey Clarkson pointed out that IFAs did not create pension transfers or endowments, design precipice bonds or mismanage splits.

Merricks told IFAs that he has enormous sympathy with their position but pointed out that bigger organisations such as prov-iders pick up far bigger tabs than IFAs.

He said: “I am stuck in my position – people complain but the proportion of complaints against IFAs is very small compared with complaints against bigger organisations and I would expect this. IFAs have personal relationships with clients, something which it is very difficult for bigger organisations to have. IFAs should be proud of this.”

Destini researcher Carole Meears said: “Halifax enc-ouraged people to convert repayment mortgages to endowments because of tax relief so even though people did not understand endowments, they still wanted to take them out as they were cheaper.”

Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr said: “I predict the next problem will be ASU and what is the CML or the Government doing about that?”

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