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Merricks rules out naming and shaming firms

Chief ombudsman Walter Merricks says the FOS considered publishing data about the number of complaints received about IFAs and the number upheld but thinks it would harm the sector.

Merricks was asked by Hamptons International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy if the FOS has considered publishing statistics about cases where the IFA wins. Duffy wants the public to be able to see that most IFAs are not the enemy while IFAs who lose cases could be named and shamed.

Merricks pointed out that having a big number of complaints against a firm is not necessarily an indication of bad practice. For example, a firm could have taken over another company with a book of bad business it is trying to sort out.

He said: “Our current view is that we prefer to stay where we are as although it means that you cannot see who the good guys are, it also means that firms cannot be misrepresented through naming and shaming.”

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