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Heavy-handed opinion

This is a one-off, as I do not intend conducting a protracted correspondence via the letters page. Nonetheless I am compelled to write, having read Nic Cicutti’s column (Money Marketing, August 7) which he kindly devoted to me.

Clearly, Nic has a problem with myself and the IFA Defence Union and, in his prosaic style, attempts to belittle both my and their efforts towards a better and more balanced financial services landscape.

“Intellectual enforcer” sounds pretty impressive and rather cool so I will leave that epithet alone but a number of his other jibes are deserving of a rejoinder.

Like Nic, I have indeed read the Court of Appeal judgment but, unlike Nic, I have also spoken with Heather Moor & Edgecombe and their arguments and refutations are equally compelling.

Lesson one for Nic is not to form opinions and use them to lambast advisers without knowing the whole picture. I do not know all the circumstances so I remain silent, as he should.

The inaccuracies within his columns were many. Adam Samuel did indeed thrash him, and rightly so, for mistakes of fact, such as confusing the legal representation.

Now I have no argument with Nic holding his particular viewpoints and I whole-heartedly agree with the concept of free speech but I do object, as should any reasonable human being, to what amounts to a campaign against a firm of advisers.

HME has rightly been applauded for having the courage to fight and attempt to expose the fundamental unfairness of the FOS processes which exist because of the drafting of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which begat the FOS.

Nonetheless, he stooped lower than usual and flung mud in a heavy-handed attempt to make a point.

Nic’s recent columns highlight the reasons why he is held in low esteem by many advisers. As a small cog in the mechanism of checks and balances, he plays an acceptable role but as a commentator of fact he falls somewhat short of the mark.

By way of conclusion, I turn to the words of the estimable Oscar Wilde, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”

Alan Lakey


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