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FOS accuses IFADU’s Owen of harassment

The Financial Ombudsman Service has threatened not to deal with enquiries from the IFA Defence Union after accusing its chief Evan Owen of harassment and intimidating behaviour.

Senior legal adviser Louise Reilly has written to Owen describing an email addressed to one of her colleagues as hostile and intimidating. She warns that the FOS will terminate correspondence with Owen if he continues to harass and intimidate staff.

Owen told the FOS it does not have jurisdiction over trading entities that ceased operating before the PIA took up its full powers. In an email, he accused a member of the FOS staff of being unqualified to describe the jurisdiction of the ombudsman. He added: “None of you are immune from personal prosecution for your acts and omissions.”

FSA managing director for regulatory services David Kenmir recently instructed staff to ignore enquiries from Owen, accusing him of showing a “consistently hostile approach to what the FSA is trying to achieve”. Owen has requested details of FSA spending on staff Christmas and leaving parties and taxi expense claims.

FOS spokeswoman Emma Parker says: “I am sure most IFAs would agree our resources are better spent elsewhere than on dealing with Mr Owen’s many and varied enquiries. If anyone is abusive to our staff, in extreme cases we will ask them to take their complaints elsewhere.”

Owen says: “This is censorship. The FOS and the FSA are obviously chomping from the same trough and ignoring pertinent questions because they feel threatened.”

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