The Financial Ombudsman Service has reiterated its advice to IFAs to make suitability reports as tailored and personalised to the client as possible.
Speaking at our Money Marketing Interactive conference today, FOS principal ombudsman Richard Thompson outlined how advisers can best mount a defence at the FOS when faced with a complaint.
Thompson said: “The more you can do to personalise and tailor that documentation, that suitability report around the customer and their circumstances, the better placed you will be to defend in the event that someone does wish to bring a complaint.”
While he said that “standard documentation always has its place” to help clarity or understanding for consumers, it had its “limitations” as well.
There you go; FOS saying the same as the FCA – make sure the documentation is personalised to the individual client https://t.co/xIgEBvB7E0
— Rory Percival (@rorypercival) May 18, 2017
Thompson added that using the client’s own words in documentation was the “gold standard” when it came to best practice.
He said: “It helps when we can see things in the advisers own words…The gold standard is the clients own words from what they understood then.”
Thompson went on to give a number of “warning signs” for the ombudsman, including where there is a “clear disconnect between the recommendation and the documentation that supports that”.
He also urged advisers to steer clear of jargon-heavy product information.