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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

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Northern Venture Managers – Northern 3 VCT

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