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The precedent&#39s brain is missing

I was interested to read the comments of Walter Merricks on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service complaining about the industry holding contrary views on the issues of consistency in FOS decisions and the right of the FOS to set precedent (Money Marketing, January 22). He says if you want consistency, you must have a precedent.

The precedent of mercantile law as I learned it was “let the buyer beware”. In view of the fact that this seems to have changed for financial products, we see the FOS creating an empire at the expense of the industry in order to hypothesise on where the precedent should now be established so that there can be a consistent departure from what is right and fair.

It is not the establishment of the precedent which is a concern to any of us, it is that the precedent established is not fair.

A transparent and obvious system of rightness could never be the precedent or the FOS would all lose its jobs. It seems that the blame culture must be encouraged and all insurance salespeople made villains or the FOS would have to be disbanded.

Mr Merricks, the industry is not complaining so much about the FOS establishing a precedent as the fact that the precedent is wrong. Re-establish the truth that the buyer should take responsibility for his own decisions and limit yourself to genuine cases where there has been fraud or maladministration.

Malcolm Baxter

Baxter & Lindley Financial Services,Tring, Herts


Estate agency joins sellers&#39 packs action group

Estate agency Jackson-Stopps and Staff has added its support to sellers&#39 packs group Splinta who are campaigning against the packs. The company says it has reached the conclusion that the home condition report contained in the home information pack is totally inappropriate for the type of property the firm deals with.

Investment trusts cost less than 1 per cent

Association of Investment Trust Companies research on conventional investment trusts suggests for a significant proportion of investment trusts a 1 per cent charge cap could be comfortably met. The research comes after the Treasury has announced a 1.5 per cent cap on its Child Trust Fund, which is able to include investment in equities. Althought […]

Acorns and oaks for First State fund

First State Investments&#39 global resources fund has grown to £32m since its launch in October as UK investors seek similar returns to those generated by the highly-rated version offered by its Australian parent. The UK-registered fund&#39s unit price has shown a good rise since launch, growing from £1 in October to £1.15 at the end […]

Big deal

I was interested to read that two loss-making firms, Inter-Alliance and BBB, propose to merge (Money Marketing, January 22). However, each company has demonstrated that big is not necessarily beautiful. My practice is a firm believer in providing clients with the opportunity to obtain independent financial advice from both local and national firms but I […]


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