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Merricks tells Govt to get its act together on reviews

The chief ombudsman has called on the Government to “get its act together” and align what the Treasury and the FSA are doing with the Sandler and polarisation reviews.

Walter Merricks was critical of the number of reviews of the financial services sector.

He told the conference: “The industry is suffering with the number of reviews and it would do it good if things settled down a bit.”

He also defended the structure of how IFAs pay the ombudsman, saying they would rather pay an annual fee as it keeps the cost of individual cases down.

He said this approach will be reviewed in a couple of years.

But Merricks went on to accuse the industry of using terms consumers do not fully understand, inc-luding with-profits and endowment.

He told delegates: “Can I just throw out a challenge to the industry to think of better descriptors for these kind of things?

“With-profits does not mean anything to the man in the street.”

Merricks also suggested that the quality of IFA&#39s qualifications was not a great issue for the Omb-udsman because the number of complaints about advisers are extremely small.

He said his main priority on qualifications was to ensure his own staff were up to scratch on the wide range of issues they must cover.

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