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Joseph ends FOS dispute

Adviser says he would ‘sweep roads if I had to but I am not prepared to risk a colleague’s career’

IFA John Joseph says he has relented in his row with the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service to save his busi- ness partner’s job.

Joseph says he would “sweep roads if I had to” but was not prepared to risk the career of colleague Steve Petrie, a 30-year- old IFA with a young family.

The dispute was over a compensation claim awarded against the firm. Joseph paid his client 1,200 but is accusing the FOS of incompetence and says his hand was forced when the FSA threatened to revoke both his and Petrie’s licences.

The case follows Joseph’s compensation row with client Jackie Barnett over an alleg- edly missold Standard Life mortgage endowment policy.

Joseph resisted paying out on the claim, saying that the client’s anticipated windfall following Standard Life’s demutualisation would enable her to cover the bill.

In written correspondence between Joseph and ombudsman Sue Wrigley, Joseph asked her to justify her decision and was told that his questions would not be answered until the settlement was made.

Joseph says Wrigley is still refusing to provide the answers he wants.

The FOS says the subsequent points raised do not relate to anything that had not already been considered in making the final judgement and, as far as it is concerned, the case is closed. It also rejected Joseph’s call for a meeting.

Spokeswoman Emma Parker says: “Sue acted within the capacity of her role at the FOS. It would be incredibly expensive to allow face-to- face contact on all cases and I would have thought that the vast majority of advisers would prefer that we spent our time and money otherwise.”

Joseph says: “Sue Wrigley has overstepped her ability to be a judge in this particular case. I challenge her to step outside of the FOS’s protection and to answer in an open forum the seven questions that I rai- sed pertaining to her ability to handle that case.”

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