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Don’t try queue-jumping, warns Minghella

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has warned claim-chasing firms to get in line after being harassed by firms trying to fast-track their claims over those made direct by policyholders.

The FSCS is sending out letters to firms which have been pestering staff at the compensation scheme to prioritise claims made on their clients’ behalf.

Chief executive Loretta Minghella says some firms are failing to filter complaints and even trying to foist claims on the compensation scheme against blue-chip providers who are perfectly capable of meeting their liabilities.

Minghella slams the majority of claim management firms and says that only a small proportion provide a valuable service for their clients.

With the compensation scheme predicting a threefold increase in endowment complaints, Minghella reveals that around 30 per cent of claims come through claim firms.

She says: “There is very little filtering going on in some of these firms. We have written to a number of these firms to make it plain that we do not appreciate their attempts to get up the queue.”

“There are some decent firms but in our experience this is not the majority. Some firms seem to do very little for their money but hassle our staff. I would much rather see the industry’s money going to pay valid claims rather than valid claims and claim manage- ment firms.”

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “We have seen how abusive these firms can get when advisers stand up for themselves. We would not endorse this harassment of the ombudsman, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and hard-working firms.”

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