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How well qualified are adjudicators?

The FSA has extolled the values of holistic financial planning. It has dictated the need for high levels of qualification. It insists that key features documents are distributed with each recommendation and, of course, it has approved those key features documents as authentic consumer-orientated information sheets which enable customers to assess the products which they wish to buy.

It is therefore extraordinarily bizarre that the Financial Ombudsman Service employs adjudicators that have no professional qualifications (at least, none displayed on their correspondence) and therefore cannot have any industry experience in accordance with FSA rules and regulations.

This demonstrates that they have no understanding of holistic advice, nor take it into consideration when reviewing cases.

Perhaps the most damning indictment of the FSA is the statement from adjudicators that “consumers cannot expect to understand or rely upon key features documents”.

There is clear evidence in our files that adjudicators make assumptions about clients’ circumstances, without any documentary evidence, and rely upon hearsay from complainants without evidence.

What future is there for highly-regulated, fee-based, extremely well-qualified holistic financial advisers?

Patrick McIntosh
KMG Financial,
Reigate,
Surrey.

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