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FCA considering case for 15-year long-stop

The FCA is considering whether to place a 15-year limit on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

In its 2014/15 business plan, published today, the regulator also says it will consult on new prudential requirements for investment advisers after it delayed new capital adequacy rules last September and promised a “fundamental review”. 

The plan says: “We will consult on prudential requirements for personal investment firms. We will consider the case for a 15-year time limit on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service to review whether the current arrangements are delivering the best outcomes for consumers overall.”

In August last year Tenet launched an e-petition calling for the introduction of “fair liability for financial advice” and the removal of financial services legislation which allows the FOS to consider complaints regardless of when advice was given.

To date the petition, which closes on 23 July, has gathered 4,906 signatures. If it reaches 10,000 signatures the Government’s petitions committee can recommend an inquiry or seek a response from the relevant minister.

The regulator has been non-committal on the issue in the past and last reviewed the case for a long-stop in 2007, when it was rejected due to a lack of supporting evidence. 


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The FCA shouldn’t make decisions about complaints against itself. An independent complaints system is urgently needed.

    There is already an effective limit of just two years on complaints!

    It is lamentable that the FCA appoints its own Complaints Commsioner, gives the Commissioner no authority and sets up an internal complaints system that allows them to reject the overwhelming majority of complaints as being ‘excluded from their complaints system’. You will struggle (like the thousands who have tried to complain) to find what you are allowed to complain about.

    You can support our 38 Degrees campaign to reform the FCA by clicking the link below. With the liberalisation of pension funds, action is even more urgently needed.

  2. Just received my “Regulation round-up special issue: 2014/15 focus” as below, it is somewhat telling that the comment refers to outcomes for consumers ONLY with no reference to advisers or providers.

    That is a CLEAR BIAS and explains why anyone who tries to stand up for a balanced approach is threatened and castigated for something which since the change from PIA to FSA has NEVER been openly debated and was simply imposed without consultation on advisers.

    I look forward to a frank and open discussion on this issue, but with the reference to outcomes for consumers only, I don’t see how this can be “Fair, or unbiased”.

    15-year time limit on complaints

    We will consider the case for a 15-year time limit on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service to review whether the current arrangements are delivering the best outcomes for consumers overall.

  3. I do not understand why advisers, past and present, are not signing the petition!

  4. Calling all advisers – please sign the online petition. A 15 year time limit would be a start, personally I’d like to see a 7 year time limit (i.e. current year plus previous 6) as that gives customers more than sufficient time to complain if they have been missold or given bad advice. A lot can change in 15 years and so reasonable advice today might not be reasonable advice (usually with the benefit of hindsight) in 15 years time.

  5. @Malcolm – Personally I am willing to consider ANY rationale justification for an alternative longstop and timebar within FS. What I am NOT willing to accept is infinity and hence my continual battle with the immoral actions of the F-pack in removing completely the reference to any longstop when the PIA changed to the FCA.

  6. The long stop always applied to FIMBRA & PIA business as stated in Statutory Instrument 2326. The problem is that FOS employees do not understand that this instrument issued by the Treasury apply directly to them for this past business. If you insist on the law to be applied or threatening to ignore an unlawful determination and apply FSMA section 232, they will usually find a way to dismiss the case.

    What the FCA is now considering doing is extending common law to FSA and FCA business.

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