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FSCS says it’s braced for BIA complaints

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is bracing itself for a flood of comp- ensation claims after receiving almost 300 in less than a week since Berkeley Independent Advisers was declared in default.

The FSCS says it is aware of at least 300 current or expected misselling complaints against the BIA network.

It says around 250 have been passed on by BIA’s administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, with the remaining 50, which relate to former BIA appointed representative Weston, being referred on from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The FOS has been writing to claimants warning them of possible delays as it has been responding to a big number of complaints against Weston, which are being bundled together so that updates can be sent out at the same time.

But Tenet, which bought BIA’s assets but not liabilities in March, says it has only had around 20 complaints rel-ating to activities before the takeover.

Tenet chief executive Simon Hudson says: “We have seen less than a handful of complaints since the takeover and we have dealt with around 20 relating to sales before we took over BIA and these are without fail relating to endowments.”

FSCS spokeswoman Suzette Brown says: “Most of the claims we are aware of relate to endowment misselling. However, we have received a small number of claims relating to investment bonds and personal pensions.”

The FSCS says that consumers can claim compen-sation of up to 48,000 if they have lost money as a result of negligent advice from BIA members.


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