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IFAs urged to get ‘statement of truth’ from complainants

Policyholders should be fully aware of the grounds for their complaint’

Aifa is recommending that complainants should provide a signed declaration that their complaint is genuine in a bid to crack down on vexatious complaints generated by claim chasers.

It is asking members to ensure that complainants complete a “statement of truth” letter. It says the tactic has been used with some success by firms in other sectors which have seen some complaints withdrawn.

Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard says: “The purpose of the letter is to make sure that complainants reflect on the position of the complaint and to make them fully aware of exactly what grounds they are complaining on.

“It is no good just ticking boxes on claim management firms’ application forms. We want people to think clearly what they are claiming for.”

Personal Finance Society public affairs director John Ellis says: “I think it could deter some people that do not have any basis for their claim if they have to think through a set of questions. It is a good idea if it concentrates minds.”

Aifa’s call comes as the Claims Standards Council, the self-regulatory body for claim management companies until statutory regulation comes into force, says it has seen a dramatic fall in the number of endowment claim firms.

It says the number of firms in its membership has fallen from 20 at the end of last year to just six. It says many claim consultants – one-man bands that act as lead-generators for management companies – are springing up instead.

CSC spokesman Andy Wigmore says: “We have seen a flood of people applying to us as sole traders as many of the claim firms have disappeared.”

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