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Aifa criticises PwC tactics on Exeter splits

Aifa is telling IFAs with clients who have splits losses relating to Exeter Fund Managers not to be distracted by a PricewaterhouseCoopers mailout saying advisers may be liable.

In its role as administrator, PwC has written to investors and IFAs saying investors might be able to claim compensation from IFAs.

Aifa director of policy Fay Goddard is concerned that PwC – which has a duty to protect Exeter from claims – is encouraging clients to look to IFAs for compensation.

In a circular to members, Goddard has criticised PwC’s tactics and advised IFAs that they need do no more than follow the letter of the FSA rulebook and deal with complaints as they are received. Up to 8,000 IFAs are thought to have clients invested in Exeter Fund Managers which went into administration in March.

The exact level of losses has not been determined but runs into millions.

Goddard says: “PwC has a duty of care to safeguard as much of Exeter’s assets as possible and by directing investors to look to the IFA for compensation, it is giving a strong steer that they may have a claim against the adviser. But most people are fully aware that the way Exeter was managed was not transparent.”

A PwC spokesman says: “We are not singling out IFAs or giving a strong steer in any direction. The documents outline the types of claims that an investor may have.”

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