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FSA inviting claims to blame for PI fiasco

May I state what a good read your February 27 issue is – especially the comment pages with your editorial, which again hit the spot, and you have brought out the big guns in the letters by Nick Bamford, Alan Tonks, Terence O&#39Halloran and Harry Katz.

All contributors have pertinent points to make via their personal experiences in the industry.

What does concern me, however, and no doubt every other IFA, is a quote on your back page by FSA spokesman David Cliffe which says: “The rise in premium (that is, PI premiums) is a reflection of changes in the insurance market. Increases in PI premiums have not occurred as a result of regulatory issues.”

Cobblers. The rise in PI premiums is solely because of FSA (previously PIA) intervention in telling clients to claim upon the IFA. One only has to look at the fines upon insurance companies (however pertinent these may be) to see how damaging regulation has been.

We are advised by the regulator to invite a claim but then the PI insurers advise we should not do so and act “as if we were a prudent uninsured” – we get beaten around the head on the one hand by the regulator and then get beaten around the head again by the PI insurers – as you state, “in a few years, advice may be a pale imitation of itself”.

Who will suffer? Yes, you&#39ve guessed it, the clients trying to save for their future and being advised by tied agents selling insurance as all the IFAs will be out of business, taking us back 50 years in the financial cycle.

Alex Houghton

Managing director,

Houghton & Associates,

Harrogate, North Yorks


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