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Case of the missing rights

David Buskell’s letter (Money Marketing, June 11) was right on the button – there are no human rights for IFAs when it comes to Financial Ombudsman Services case fees.

In fairness, we too have found the FOS to be very fair in their adjudications. We have had nine cases referred to them by ambulance-chasers, all of which, as we expected, were thrown out. Mr Buskell’s point, rightly made, is that while he was innocent of any wrong-doing, he was still hit with the fees. The chasers, on the other hand, have nothing to lose.

One or two of the cases we had were as comical as claims for second-home expenses. An amusing case where a fee became payable was where the complainant’s brother, a tied agent, had actually sold her the policy over 20 years ago which somehow was placed through our agency without our knowledge or consent. We have never met, spoken or communicated with the complainant or arranged any business for her. When the policy eventually failed to reach target on maturity, the lady complained direct to the life office who referred it to us. Having established that we were not involved in the sale, we advised the complainant that we could not be held responsible. The case was then referred to the FOS who, while turning the complaint down, also held us responsible for their fee. So, as you say Mr Buskell, where are the human rights?

Barry Johnson

Barry Johnson Financial Services, Northampton

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  1. Fraudulent or Vexatious
    The case Barry refers to was clearly Fraudulent or Vexatious and the FOS has the power NOT to charge a case fee in these circumstances. This ladies brother fraudulently submitted and application purporting to be through your agency. Who received the commission? As a result we would attempt recovery from this lady as we never met her. Our Terms of Business state this. I would rather go to prison than pay this fee as it is money being paid out after fraudulent threats.

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