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Bamford warns Barclays it could face FSA backlash

The war of words between IFA Nick Bamford and Barclays Financial Planning has escalated, with Bamford saying Barclays’ multi-tie could fall foul of the FSA’s treating customers fairly principles.

But Barclays has hit back, defending the way it selects its provider panel and the way it describes the process.

Barclays has rejected Bamford’s earlier claims that the bank’s multi-tie proposition, being launched this summer, will lead customers to think they are getting a whole-of-market proposition.

Barclays Financial Planning commercial director Stephen Ingledew claims the bank can demonstrate “transparency at every stage”. He says: “We have deliberately used this language as it reflects the rigorous and disciplined process that we have employed to scour the market for selecting the best providers for Barclays customers and it is important to set the record straight.”

Ingledew says most IFAs do not offer a genuine whole of market service and that the pre-depolarisation app-roach to choosing providers has often lacked transpar-ency, rigour or formality.

He also accuses “some commentators” of feeling “threatened” by Barclays’ approach and of reacting “emotionally”.

Responding to the criticism, Bamford says: “If they think they are competition, bring it on. We will wipe the floor with them. It is unfair to tell the customer they have something when they have not. Whole of market advice is best advice but anything short of that is designed to benefit the organisation and not the customer.

“It is up to them to tell the truth or they will face a regulatory backlash. I just hope the regulator will have the courage to take this on.”Commentary, p30

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