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Why are IFAs taking blame?

I enclose a copy of a letter received from Standard Life concerning one of its policies that we recommended in March 1990, for which we have now received a letter of complaint.

One would think the life office would offer every possible assistance to the IFA.I am amazed at how little support is offered by some of the life offices although some are helpful. One does wonder if some of the original quotations did not have the necessary warnings re the maturity value not being guaranteed and/or possibly suggesting there would be a surplus at maturity.

Second, I fail to understand why an IFA is solely responsible for a mortgage applicant/s not taking into account the fact that the mortgage they have applied for is going to run past their normal retirement age. It would normally mean that the applicant/s would be over the age of 40 and, if in a position to buy a house at that point in their life, must be considered relatively sensible and intelligent. It is the lending source that vets and approves the mortgage and in the 1980s and 1990s it was generally accepted that solicitors handling the conveyancing for the applicant had a duty of care and it would have surely been sensible for the solicitor to bring to the attention of their client the fact that the mortgage would not expire until they were in their retirement.

Why has it fallen on the shoulders of the IFA to be the sole person responsible for what in retrospect has now been considered a dastardly deed? And, of course, we must not overlook the fact that the life company which accepted the proposals should surely be as equally responsible as everybody else.

Text of email from Standard Life

Further to our discussion regarding the case of *******I have been informed by our endowment complaints team that we can release the full file if the client completes a subject access request form, for which Standard Life charge £10.

We cannot release the full file without this specific consent,as it may contain confidential information, such as underwriting details.

Brian Pickering

Managing director,

Heather Moor & Edgecomb,

Laleham, Chippenham, Wiltshire


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