View more on these topics

Merricks cautious over RDR effect on complaints

Outgoing Financial Ombudsman Service chief ombudsman Walter Merricks has warned his successor not to assume that complaint numbers will fall as a result of the retail distribution review.

In an interview with Money Marketing, Merricks says the RDR has the potential to reduce complaints by making advice propositions clearer to the consumer but there is also room for confusion.

He says: “I think it would be unwise of my successor to count on the assumption that complaints from the retail investment world are suddenly going to go down as a result of that.

“If people understand more clearly the basis of the advice that they are getting, then there is potential for our complaint numbers to go down. But I tend to be a bit cautious about assuming that changes of that kind are going to necessarily result in fewer complaints.

“Every time you make a change in the system there is always a possibility there will be misunderstandings, so I am cautious.”

Merricks, who is due to leave the FOS later this year after 10 years at its helm, says the relationship between the FOS, the Office of Fair Trading and the FSA needs to be reviewed.

He says mortgage endowments, Equitable Life, precipice bonds, bank charges and PPI have all challenged the handling of widespread complaints.

He says: “I think the interaction between ourselves and the regulators, whether that’s the OFT or the FSA, on the bigger-ticket issues is something that is right to look at. If you look back at the history of the ombudsman service over the last 10 years, it is marked by these big surges of complaints and I do not think anybody can say there has been an ideal solution.”


Base line rally

There is a new conundrum developing for the market to solve. With the Bank of England holding bank rate at 0.5 per cent for the fourth consecutive month, the noon announcement seems to be losing its appeal to the nation since the excitement of the turn of the year and even Robert Peston has moved on to pastures new.

Continental climate

European equity boutique 2CG was set up by Charles Glasse and Chris Garsten in 2000, with their identical initials presenting a simple and memorable company brand. They initially shared an office with wealth manager Laing & Cruikshank, which was subsequently bought out by UBS, serving as its European expertise.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm