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Compensation scheme should be a safety net, not an escape route

I was disturbed to read in Money Marketing last week that Berkeley Berry Birch is letting the liabilities of its IFA firm fall to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Most of us seek to be professionals, providing people with the highest standards of advice and taking full responsibility for the quality of that advice.

A sceptical public often takes some convincing of this, given the stories of misselling and commission-driven sales.

How can we expect to be respected as true professionals when major players can sell whatever they like to whoever they like and abdicate responsibility by winding up their businesses, passing liability for past misdeeds on to the FSCS and starting a new, clean, business the following day?

The FSCS is supposed to be there to provide a safety net for firms that have gone out of business, not an escape route for those that are incapable of rising to the standards that we should all aspire to.

David Thurlow

Atkinson Bolton Consulting, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk


Probe will look at mutual life after Equitable

The Government is to launch an independent review into corporate governance of mutual life offices following this week&#39s publication of Lord Penrose&#39s comprehensive report into the Equitable Life debacle. Former Gartmore chairman Paul Myners, who carried out the Treasury-commissioned review into institutional investment, is to lead the review, looking at member involvement in mutual office […]

Penrose critisises Board for policy omission

The decision to recover the costs of annuity guarantees from terminal bonuses was not for a decade disclosed to the Board, which failed to inform policyholders for another three years, according to the Penrose report.The report says this failure must be regarded as a serious omission in communication to policyholders of relevant information about their […]

Chris Traynor

The Pru&#39s Chris Traynor very nearly did not take up a career in the insurance industry. Desperate to get his teeth into a sales role, the ambitious young Sun Life sales support clerk accepted a more flavoursome role as a salesman for Liquorice Allsorts. But at the last minute he was talked out of it […]

Northern Venture Managers – Northern 3 VCT

Type: Venture capital trust Aim: Growth by investing in unquoted companies Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000 Closing date: April 5, 2004 Charges: Initial 5%, performance fee 20% Commission: Initial 3% Tel: 0800 0852601


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