View more on these topics

Watchdog staff get training to help advisers

The Financial Ombudsman Service is improving staff training for complaints handlers dealing with IFA cases as part of its drive to understand intermediaries and their clients better, according to Aifa.

Speaking at network Positive Solutions&#39 conference in London last week, Aifa director general Paul Smee said the move could save IFAs money wasted on case fees as complaints will be solved earlier.

The ombudsman says it recognises that IFAs have a more personal relationship with clients than multinational corporations and it must take emotional aspects into account when dealing with disputes.

For N2, the ombudsman will be offering a booklet to IFAs in smaller firms aimed at “demystifying the ombudsman”. It is also aiming to ease IFA fears about the service with a series of roadshows around the UK explaining how the service works.

The ombudsman says it does not want to be seen as the “regulatory police” and is aiming to convince IFAs that it is involved in reducing and solving complaints.

It says it recognises that some IFAs feel isolated and it is working with Aifa to increase its direct contact with advisers.

In the FOS annual report, chief ombudsman Walter Merricks says: “For a small firm of financial advisers, the value of a free dispute resolution service for its customers is more difficult to appreciate.

“For our part, in dealing with complaints from the customers of such firms, we take particular care to understand the background circumstances under which such disputes need to be resolved.”



PIA Ombudsman – judge, jury and executioner

I wish to express my sincere thanks to all the IFAs and professionals within the financial services industry who have contacted me offering unanimous support following the publication of my letter (MM, September 27).What is frightening is the colossal number of wholly and utterly illogical and unjust judgments by the PIA Ombudsman.Judgments which only reiterate […]

Biggest fine as PIA finally tackles Pru

The pension review has caught up with Prudential, with the PIA imposing its biggest review fine yet of £650,000 on the company for review failings.Pru notoriously escaped a fine for pension misselling by remaining directly regulated by SIB until April 1998. SIB did not have powers to levy fines.Pru has reviewed 153,000 cases and still […]

Designated drivers

The coming of the FSA will radically change the nature of the regulatory regime.For many in the professions the ability to opt out to the designated professional body (DPB) regime allows avoidance of the issue altogether.If only life were so simple. The nature of the Financial Services & Markets Act means that the whole regulated […]

Healthnow goes for the group PMI market

AIG Europe has designed the healthnow plan for the group budget private medical insurance (PMI) market.Healthnow is aimed at small to medium-sized companies in the UK with between five and 200 employees.Premiums start from £7 a month for a male aged 18 and cover is available for a total of 128 procedures that have the […]

Frexit & contagion risk in Europe

Many commentators have suggested that the UK’s exit from the European Union will trigger a domino effect, leading to its eventual break-up. Neptune’s Rob Burnett discusses the likelihood of this happening. Read more: Important information Investment risks Neptune funds may have a high historic volatility rating and past performance is not a guide for future […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment