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FSA adds to Disp confusion

The IFA Defence Union has called for clarification of the complaint-handling requirements of retired advisers after the FSA confirmed they were not subject to Disp 1 rules.

In a letter to IFADU chairman Evan Owen, the FSA’s mortgage endowments and complaint policy team said IFAs that are no longer authorised are not subject to Disp 1, although they “may” still be subject to Disp 2.

Disp 1 outlines complaint-handling requirements, such as how long a firm should take to answer a complaint, while Disp 2 deals with Financial Ombudsman Service jurisdiction to deal with the case.

Owen says as retired advisers do not have to abide by the requirements of Disp 1, it is unclear how long they have to answer a complaint before the FOS assesses the complaint without their input.

He says the confusion is another example of why retired advisers should not be subject to the FOS and claims should be settled through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the courts.

Owen says: “Jurisdiction should not go on forever. The FOS should not be able to hound people including old and sick former advisers.”

An FSA statement says: “If an IFA is no longer authorised (for whatever reason), they are no longer subject to Disp 1. However, they may still be subject to the jurisdiction of FOS (Disp 2) in respect of complaints about actions that occurred while they were authorised.”

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