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LIA calls for annual health statements from FSA and Ombudsman

In a response to the FSA&#39s CP 04/12 on the ombudsman service, the LIA has suggested that these annual reports could draw attention both to areas of concern and also to areas where industry performance is satisfactory or above average.

John Ellis, the LIA&#39s public affairs director, says: “In this way, a balanced view could be presented of each sector on an annual basis which would provide the opportunity for wider comment and leadership by those who wish to adopt a constructive approach to industry problem solving.”

The LIA is also supporting the idea of a special panel of industry and consumer members to discuss market issues and contribute to overall judgements.

The Association is, however, opposed to an appeal mechanism for the FOS, believing that it would add cost to the system, but little benefit. Bearing in mind the few cases which get as far as an Ombudsman determination – 8% of 97,901 cases referred to the Ombudsman in 2003

– the downside of the added cost, borne by the industry and the consumer, would outweigh any benefits.

Ellis adds: “We believe that the drive for appeals is backed by a small number of individuals in the marketplace. Considering, as stated above, that a relatively small proportion of Ombudsman cases are eventually determined by the Ombudsman and the small number where adverse findings against firms are made – 2600 of the 8000 in 2003 – there would not seem to be a large problem.”

The LIA is also opposed to the use of legal test cases, as it believes that the focus on fine technical detail would mean that broad precedents would be unlikely to be set. The letter says it is doubtful whether the courts would have sufficient knowledge to provide a better view than that which could be obtained through the liaison arrangements discussed.”

The LIA, however, does support greater publicity and explanation of the wider implications machinery, in which some FOS cases can be taken over by the FSA, if it is felt that the complaint points to a wider industry issue that ought to be explored.


Halifax intermediaries to accept online applications only from October 1

Paul Fincham, spokesman for Halifax, says: “We are simply doing simple housekeeping before regulation. We have been online since January 2003. We do 90% of our business online, so there will literally be a handful of brokers who will not be able to access it. If someone can&#39taccess us, we will help them to get […]

Zurich appoints CEO for Advice network in the UK

ZAN is the forerunner of the directly authorised multi-tie retail distribution company Zurich intends to launch in the UK, to be operational in 2005. This appointment as well as the launch of the company are subject to regulatory approval. The intention to create a separate distribution company was announced on April 2 2004. It is […]

BMS is hiding behind rules in a push to secure distribution

Regulation is approaching and we have entered the silly season. The interpretation of &#39responsible lending&#39 by some lenders has taken on a life of its own. BM Solutions&#39 interpretation is to cut broker fees for sub-prime cases to remove the possibility of any bias toward those products that pay higher proc fees. This is a […]

In search of qualification clarification

The reason for this is simple: I was curious to find out what exams advisers will have to take come Mortgage Day as while talking to a number of brokers and mortgage institutions it quickly became evident that there is still some confusion about what will actually happen. For those who don&#39t know, December 31 […]


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