OpinionDec 10 2015

Fos case vindicates adviser

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I write in response to the news (FTAdviser, 1 December) that the Financial Ombudsman Service has told a widow there is no evidence that Intrinsic Mortgage Planning knew her husband was borrowing more money than he had told her about.

Not knowing any of those involved in this case, I would personally be wary of drawing the conclusion that a court might overturn the Fos decision, especially if it is indeed the case that Mrs M’s claim that her signatures on two documents were forged appears not to stand up to forensic scrutiny. She could then (I think) risk finding herself in contempt of court were the court to regard that claim as a downright lie. Mrs M does appear to have amended her stance to a point during the course of her complaint, which also raises suspicion.

In so saying, I do not doubt that there are “any number of cases where the husband and the IFA cheerfully conversed about the finances of both of them, but the wife was only expected to make the tea and bring in the biscuits” (in the words of an online comment on the story); however, in this instance, “the wife” is also said to have signed two documents but claims that she did not do so. Accusations of signature forgery are very serious indeed and, were the court to determine that they are justified, several heads might roll (and these could have included that of her husband had he not died in the interim). Is not forging signatures on official documents a criminal rather than civil offence in some cases?

Alistair Hinton


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