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Aifa confident over long stop

Aifa believes the FSA is considering bringing in a 15-year long stop for complaints following lobbying by the trade body.

This comes despite the FSA stating in its retail distribution review interim report that it sees no evidence that a 15-year long stop would provide wider benefits to consumers and firms.

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says he expects to see results in the short to medium term. He says: “We are in close discussions with the FSA and making good progress.”

An FSA spokeswoman refuses to comment on the issue but says: “It is well known that we are having lots of discussions with interested parties on many different issues concerning the RDR. We will be publishing our feedback statement in October which will contain more detailed information.”

A Freedom of Information request from the IFA Defence Union in June revealed that the Financial Ombudsman Service would have had to time-bar 9,000 complaints in 2007/08 if a 15-year long stop was in place, with 7,000 related to mortgage endowments.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey supports introducing a long stop and says if a consumer has not experienced any detriment in 15 years, there is no detriment.

Lakey says: “Financial services is the only sector that does not have this protection. We are not asking for something unreasonable, we want to be on common terms with every other profession in the UK.

“Currently, retired advisers carry liability for their advice for ever. This makes professional indemnity insurance extremely expensive but if there is a clear cut-off date, advisers could purchase run-off cover for 15 years and it would be a lot more affordable.”



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