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Adviser trade body warns FCA on ‘clone’ lead firms

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries has warned the Financial Conduct Authority about dubious practises by unauthorised lead-generation websites.

The AMII said in a letter to the regulator that unauthorised sites often imitate those of legitimate health insurance brokers to capture leads and sell them on to authorised firms.

The letter says: “The companies that operate these websites are actively participating in our market. They have the potential to damage the reputation of the health insurance industry and they represent unfair competition to our intermediary members.

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“Firms that shoulder the significant burden of regulation deserve a properly policed market. These websites are competing for business with authorised brokers and they are able to be much more aggressive in their marketing because they are under no obligation to ensure that their promotions are clear, fair and not misleading.”

The intervention is not the first time intermediaries have spoken out about the dangers of unauthorised lead generation firms using the names or logos of legitimate firms.

Last year an adviser told FTAdviser a firm called Findmeanadvisor.biz had contacted them offering a lead generation service which never came to fruition even after the advisers paid up-front fees.

Another adviser raised concerns about the quality of leads provided by a firm after he was repeatedly pitched to by salespeople making bold claims about a likely drop in the value of his pension.