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Aifa must end softly softly approach to take up fight for long stop

Letter to the director general of the Aifa

Dear Chris,

You told us that Aifa is the only appropriate channel for political and regulatory dialogue if we want change, and, to some extent, I would agree.

The 15-year long stop has once again been rejected, despite the fact that it is on the statute book and, as such, has not been repealed and therefore cannot be overridden by another piece of legislation.

I have confirmation from David Kenmir, the FSA’s managing director for regulatory services, that the FSA cannot override statute and neither can anyone else nor any other body, such as the Financial Ombudsman Service, for example. Yet they do so each and every day.

It would appear that the softly, softly approach has not worked.

With this in mind, I urge you as director general of Aifa to use your financial muscle to challenge the legality of the FSA’s rejection of a legitimate legal defence in the courts.

I am sure that all IFAs, insurance and mortgage intermediaries, both past and present, including myself, would gladly rally round you in order to bring natural justice back into play.

Doing this for us will give the Aifa more credibility. It might preclude you from receiving a knighthood or a job at HM Treasury, but that is a small price to pay for doing the right thing by small firms everywhere.

You should bear in mind that the vast majority of these firms are actually sole traders or partnerships who cannot escape a life of being on guard even when they are non compos mentis at the age of 85.

Justice needs to be seen to be done. You are the man we hope will take up the fight.

Evan Owen
Founder and chairman of the IFA Defence Union

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