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Liability and Unipass

I refer to the article, IFAs face potential £15,000 personal liability with Unipass (Money Marketing, November 27).

The article is misleading in that it wrongly suggests that IFAs using Unipass under any circumstances are putting themselves at financial risk.

This is not the case and I am writing to you to ensure that any IFA misunderstanding created by your article is corrected.

The liabilities attached to the use of Unipass are explicitly defined in the Unipass contract, which was subject to a very positive independent review by Aifa in early 2003.

The contract is designed to protect the trust and integrity of Unipass and promote good security practice, ensuring that it remains an invaluable enabler for doing business online for providers, portals and of course, the adviser community.

The contractual obligations make an individual responsible for ensuring that they provide accurate information including at the application stage, keep their Unipass safe and secure and use it appropriately (for, example, not for unlawful, defamatory or obscene messages).

In the unlikely event of Origo requiring to take legal action, an individual would have had to breach one of the simple but important rules laid out in the contract.

Simply put, IFAs who follow reasonable security practices do not take a financial risk each time they use Unipass.

Many of your readers will be aware that it is common for contracts not to refer to a liability cap.

Rather than exposing individuals to unlimited liability, Origo have instead set an upper cap on liability of £15,000 so that exposure is not open-ended, thereby following good business practice.

This figure is at the lower end of the scale and is clearly referred to in the independent Aifa review.

IFAs should also note that this contract will not make individuals liable for any losses to their firm as a result of misuse of Unipass.

There are now over 7,000 users as opposed to the 4000 stated in your article.

Recent customer research undertaken by Origo confirms that IFAs agree that Unipass improves internet security and also brings significant usability benefits.

If any IFAs or providers are concerned about Unipass and wish to discuss this further, they should contact the Unipass helpdesk on 0845 129 8877.

Paul Pettitt

Managing director

Origo Services, Edinburgh

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