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Motivation behind exams for chasers

Since being forced out of being an IFA by my ethics, I have found solace in championing the consumer cause against poor financial services advice.

Now what do we get? Money-motivated companies creating exams for complaint-handling staff (MM Professional Brief, September 21). Isn’t everyone aware of the existing financial services qualifications – FPC, AFPC, Cemap, G60, etc?

If they are trying to cut out the cowboys in this side of the business, they are certainly not setting a good example.

To control quality, complaint-handlers should hold the same qualifications that would be required today to write the business that is the subject of complaint. Problem solved.

But is it? Here comes the sledgehammer. Out of the woodwork creeps an annual bill of at least £400. For what? The insurers are winning the battle to time bar most of their evident missales and if I charged what I am worth, none of my clients would have got the service and the results achieved.

If this is a genuine Government move to reduce help available to the consumer, it will probably work.

This is the only business whereby if you get caught for ripping off the consumer, all you have to do is make things appear as if the theft (whoops) I mean advice had never happened. A bit like robbing a bank, where the only downside is that you have to give back the money if they catch you.

Surely, if these unnecessary regulatory controls (designed by insurance companies for claims advice limitation?) are brought in and charged for, then third parties will have a legitimate claim to have their charges reimbursed if a complaint is upheld so the client can then keep 100 per cent of the proceeds.

I wish that was all I had to say but I will leave you with a closing comment as I notice that Money Marketing has commented about churning, advocating trail commission instead.

Trail commission is an unjustifiable rip-off. Yes, if an “adviser” provides a little annual renewal package, a small fee may be acceptable but must do nothing for the money and at the very least such commission should be capped.

Just glancing at your paper this week has depressed me yet again. What a love/hate business this is.

Peter Amott, Aerobenefits, Wokingham, Berkshire

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