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No sense in an onerous appeal process

COMPLAINTS

Reading the article in Money Marketing headlined, Class actions axed from act but FSA gets review powers, my attention was caught by Zurich’s comment that while firms can appeal to the financial services and markets tribunal, “the process will be onerous”.

What exactly, in this context, does onerous mean? If the process is so onerous that hardly any firm or organisation is likely to be able to mount an appeal with any reasonable prospect of success, then of what practical value is it? Surely, any appeal process should not be so insurmountably onerous as to deter anyone from ever using it? That is surely wrong.

Any consumer who has alleged poor financial advice and who is not satisfied with the outcome of their comp-laint has the right to refer it to the FOS at no cost and without the process being unduly onerous.

Many sectors of the IFA community have tried to complain against the FSA’s proposed RDR but, for the most part, such complaints have been brushed aside with bland statements such as: “We have consulted extensively across the industry and taken on board the feedback received.”

The FSA’s latest (166-page) document on the RDR states (on page 47): “Only a small number of the 229 people consulted agreed with our analysis and the majority of respondents expressed some reservations.”

From what I can see, although I have yet to read the document in its entirety, the FSA’s responses to all the objections raised seem to start with the words: “We do not accept.” So much for engaging constructively with the industry.

Julian Stevens
Harvest IFM
Bristol

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