Letter: The Fos way, guilty until proven innocent

Alan Lakey

“Oh, you can’t prove you’re innocent? We’ll uphold the complaint then.” This is no joking matter though – the Fos’ idea of natural justice differs greatly from that of the court system and of that within the understanding of any rational being.

Imagine the following scenario: claimant alleges that he was mis-sold an endowment because the maturity date extends beyond his retirement age. The adviser’s file proves categorically that the claimant was fully aware of this and actually requested the plan-specific term.

The adjudicator rejects the specific allegation, but then, using his inquisitorial remit, delves within the overall transaction searching for some method by which to uphold a complaint that the client never even made.

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This is the UK in 2013. Any non-industry innocent reading this would think it describes some third-world banana republic.

Alan Lakey


Highclere Financial Services

Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire