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Long stop campaign reignites

It is a campaign that the adviser community has been pursuing for years: the right to a long-stop for advice.

Now, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (Apfa) is taking its battle to the FCA to seek limited liability for advice.

This is an issue that has been tried over and over again without success, so why might it succeed this time?

Chris Hannant, director general of the Association, pins his hopes on the new regulator. With new statutory objectives, he said, the FCA would be able to take a fresh look at an issue the FSA was not willing to return to.

“Up until a year ago, the FSA could say ‘we looked at this in 2000 and don’t want to revisit this’,” he said.

The crux of the issue for Apfa, and many advisers, is that the lack of a long stop does not appear to be fair in law. In other consumer issues, a 15-year long stop usually applies for complaints to be raised. But this does not apply in financial services because of the long-term nature of the products.

Mr Hannant said the campaign is not about leaving consumers unprotected but about striking a fair balance for advisers. There are other ways aside from unlimited liability to provide certainty and retain appropriate consumer protection, he added.