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Which? calls for sale and rentback crackdown as it reports two firms

Which? has reported two sale and rentback firms to the FSA for providing inadequate advice.

It found only two firms out of the nine it contacted offered acceptable advice and that seven advisers out of the 17 it spoke to failed to discuss whether sale and rentback was the right option for the customer, with six firms going on to give quotes.

One adviser gave a quote that would not have left the customer with enough money to pay their debts and another adviser did not ask the amount of the customer’s debts.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: “Not only are regulated firms not doing enough to ensure that vulnerable consumers make the right choices, some are offering sale and rentback that are not authorised to do so.

“The FSA must tighten the screw on these firms to make sure the rules are followed and consumers are protected.”

Alexander Hall chief operating officer Andy Pratt says: “I am surprised at the low number of advisers providing good quality advice.”

Simplicity Financial Services principal Rob Downham says: “If somebody has a financial problem and their only asset is a house, that is the time when advice is critical.”

An FSA spokeswoman says: “We will be reviewing Which?’s evidence with interest.”

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