FCA as TripAdvisor will scare off PI providers

Alistair Hinton

I am writing in reference to the news that the FCA would require financial advice firms to send them complaints data so that consumers could shop around.

The TripAdvisor example cited by Greg Heath, who likened the FCA to the reviews website, doubtless with tongue somewhat in cheek, might prompt some to perceive possible parallels with those unscrupulous advantage takers who pay under the counter for positive reviews, rather like what has also now been exposed as happening to some Wikipedia articles.

My concern here is not a frivolous one; just as litigants mount vexatious cases of one kind and another, who is to say that the above issue is not one that might be suspectible to similar corrupt and misleading practices?

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Perhaps the most serious aspect of it - especially for IFAs - is the discouragement it might give to providers of professional indemnity insurance which, after all, is compulsory at all times for all FCA authorised and regulated entities, even though the FCA’s own statutory immunity exonerates it, ironically, from the need to take out such insurance – one rule for the regulator, another for the regulated, yet again.

Alistair Hinton


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