The Information Tribunal has dismissed an appeal challenging the FSA’s refusal to disclose the legal advice it received against allowing IFAs to have a 15-year long stop.
The FSA took legal advice from its general counsel in 2003 which found the Financial Services and Markets Act suggests that Parliament intended the FSA to be able to set time limits which can differ from those in the Limitation Act which offer a 15-year long stop.
MLP director Paolo Standerwick lodged a Freedom of Information request in March 2008 to see the advice.
The FSA refused, saying it was covered by legal professional privilege and was exempt under the FSMA and would not be of significant public interest to overturn the exemption.
Standerwick complained to the Information Commissioner and in February this year the commissioner upheld the FSA’s decision. Standerwick then appealed to the Information Tribunal.
The tribunal has now dismissed the appeal, saying the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the legal advice.
Adviser Alliance, which has been helping Standerwick, says the findings are still being considered and no decision has been made about an appeal.