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Gummer backs Massow in plea to the regulator

Aifa chairman John Gummer is to take Ivan Massow’s plight to the FSA, claiming that the case exposes fundamental flaws in a claim process that ignores a historic understanding of cases.

The Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal considers that Massow’s situation highlights the “thoroughly reprehensible” way that life offices treated gay men in the early 1990s, which should still be clear in people’s minds, and meaning that Massow’s advice route was the only one available at the time.

Gummer says Massow’s case has implications for all advisers who took special circumstances into account and is a sharp example of where the regulator is getting it wrong, leaving the rest of the industry, including networks, having to work within its parameters.

Former IFA Massow met with the Aifa chairman this week and Gummer says that he will be looking to set up a meeting with the FSA as soon as possible to discuss the case.

He also believes that it is unacceptable to assume that the complainant is right if there is no written proof of the reasoning behind the specialist advice. There is no legal obligation to hold material for more than six years and the regulatory authority at the time made no indication of the detailed record-keeping that is currently required, says Gummer.

He adds: “Ivan Massow’s predicament shows where the regulator is going wrong. This is not just about past industry homophobia being ignored but, much more fundamentally, it shines a bright light on the injustice of the way the whole claim process is currently working.”

Massow says: “John was personally touched by my story but hopefully we can use it to highlight the broa- der implications for advisers who quite rightly take into account the climate of the times, whether that is homophobia, worries over another Maxwell or other important issues of the day.”

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