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Row erupts over ‘gay misselling’

Specialist gay IFA Chris Morgan has sparked a war of words with Ivan Massow, claiming advice given to the gay community between 1990 and 2000 is now resulting in a flood of misselling complaints.

Morgan, managing director of Compass, says many gay people face significant shortfalls in their mortgage endowments and pension policies as a result of this advice. The firm is offering free initial consultations to people who feel they have been missold.

But Massow is accusing Compass of scaremongering in a bid to attract customers and says Morgan is overlooking the climate of the early 1990s when it was very difficult for gay clients to obtain many financial products.

He says this could encourage churning and also questions why specialist gay advice is still needed.

Massow says: “Clearly, it is more convenient for Chris to overlook the truth about the climate in the early 1990s and whip up hysteria. If Chris wants to scare customers into churning their policies, so be it.

“I agree with him to the extent that if today’s options had been available to cli- ents in the early 1990s, we would have offered different advice – but they were not.” Morgan says his pension transfer service is fee-based and he takes no initial commission on investment bonds so he has no incentive to churn.

He says: “We have never received one misselling complaint in our history. It is my belief there were alternative products that could have been sold by our competitors between 1990 and 2000.

“If Ivan thinks I am involved in scare tactics, he should know, as the master of scaremongering – I remember his ads in the gay media during the 1990s.”

Massow, who longer trades as an IFA, has received complaints for advising clients to take out free-standing AVCs in the 1990s so benefits could be passed on to gay partners, where this was not possible in the client’s occupational pension scheme.

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