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Tory report calls for new “regulatory court” in radical shake up of FOS complaints process

The Conservatives’ Economic Competitiveness Report has recommended a radical shake-up of the claims process for financial services including a new “regulatory court” for retail consumers and more focus on caveat emptor.

The Report, published today, suggests the Shadow Cabinet looks into the merits of a new form of regulatory court- akin to the small claims court- for consumers to complain to instead of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The report also calls for a feasibility study to be carried out into how a “plain English responsibility warning could be incorporated into consumer contracts, warning consumers that they are responsible for their own actions and requiring them to acknowledge this in some way”.

It confirms a proposal, first floated by group co-chairman John Redwood at a Money Marketing roundtable last year, for a consumer disclaimer for sophisticated investors to allow them to buy unregulated products at their own risk, with no adviser responsibility.

This would mean investors would receive no protection or compensation. “We would then be able to see how much experienced investors do value and want regulation,” the report says.

It recommends a Conservative Government uses the powers of the Financial Services and Markets Act to conduct a review of whether the FSA is using guidance giving powers to best effect in assisting firms to comply with regulatory change.

The heavily trailed report also advocates the repealing of mortgage regulation, axing IHT on primary residences, scrapping Hips, ending forced annuitisation, lessening regulation of final salary schemes and creating a flexible lifetime savings account.

Launching the report, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “The policy group report we launch today is the most impressive and comprehensive analysis of the state of the British economy produced by any political party in recent times.

“And the report offers us a set of imaginative policy proposals directed at improving the competitiveness of our economy, rescuing our pension system and ensuring that more Britons and more parts of Britain share in the global prosperity of our times.”


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