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Complaints against IFAs fall again

The number of complaints against IFAs referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service fell by 15 per cent to 2,643 in 2011/12.

IFAs now represent just 1 per cent of all FOS complaints. The ombudsman says the drop reflects the “steady decline” in the number of investment and pension complaints.

The FOS published its latest figures on complaint trends this week as part of its annual review. It marks a continued fall IFA complaints which fell to 3,092 last year, down from 3,260 in 2009/10.

IFAs accounted for 1.5 per cent of all FOS complaints in 2010/11 and 2 per cent of all cases in 2009/10.

The proportion of upheld complaints against IFAs has remained steady at 54 per cent.

Complaints about banks as a proportion have stayed the same at 65.5 per cent of cases, due to the continued high volume of payment protection insurance complaints.

The number of investment complaints fell 13 per cent from 3,784 in 2011 to 3,308 in 2012, as fewer people complained in rising market conditions. However the number of pension complaints jumped 28 per cent from 2,706 to 3,454.

Aifa policy director Chris Hannant says the FOS figures support the introduction of a regulatory dividend for firms.

He says: “It is extremely positive that complaints against advisers continue to fall and shows advisers are looking after their clients. The regulator now needs to recognise this in its approach to the profession.”

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “The statistics are showing we are doing a better job with fewer complaints but as an industry we do not get a reward for that and we should.”

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