Ukip financial services spokesman and MEP Godfrey Bloom has launched a blistering attack on the Financial Ombudsman Service for not making its staff hold financial qualifications.
Speaking to Money Marketing ahead of the Ukip annual conference in London today, Bloom called for FOS staff to be as qualified as the people they are adjudicating and branded the lack of financial qualifications at the FOS as “immoral”.
He is calling for FOS staff to be as qualified as the people they are adjudicating.
The MEP for Yorkshire and Humber says he has regularly written to FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney in a bid to boost FOS staff qualifications.
He says: “Small advisers’ livelihoods depend on an investigative ombudsman and audit service. It is entirely immoral that advisers are regarded to be in breach of law if they are not properly qualified to give advice but they can be adjudicated on by people without those same qualifications.
“Anybody who is adjudicating or auditing should not only be as qualified as the people they are inspecting, they should also have at least five years of practising experience.”
Bloom called for Ceeney herself look to achieve QCF Level 4 qualifications.
He says: “The problem we have is even through she is articulate and intelligent, Ceeney has no financial experience of any sort so to be in charge of a financial ombudsman is quite wrong.
“It is not right. You would expect the head of the British Medical Association to be a doctor, the head of an accountant’s body to be an accountant or the head of the Law Society to be a lawyer. I don’t think financial services is any different, it is not a game for amateurs.”
In a recent Money Marketing interview Ceeney said getting all staff financial qualifications would lead to a quadrupling of the case fee to £2,000.
The FOS is hiring 1,000 staff this year to deal with the deluge of payment protection insurance claims. Ceeney says staff are qualified as adjudicators and the costs of financial qualifications could not be justified.