Regulation  

Angry advisers call for Fos reform

Angry advisers call for Fos reform

IFAs are being urged to sign a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in Fos, and for it to be subject to common law.

At press time the petition, due to finish at the end of this month, has attracted 521 signatures. But the petition’s creator, Neil Liversidge – managing director of West Riding Personal Financial Solutions in Yorkshire and a member of the council of Apfa – believes that more advisers would sign the petition if they were made aware of it.

The petition states that Fos has a track record of issuing judgements that are contradictory, illogical and made with hindsight, and calls for all its decisions to be approved by a suitably qualified judge.

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Mr Liversidge said: “If you are as fed up as I am with the Mickey Mouse pseudo-regulator known as the Financial Ombudsman Service, please sign my petition to Parliament. The Fos deserves a massive vote of ‘no confidence.’ Let us give it one.”

“Fos needs to be reined in,” said adviser Robert Milligan, a supporter of the petition who pledged £1,000 towards a fund to help mortgage adviser Graham Lockstone, who stands to lose his business after a Fos decision that he should repay £90,000 to a client.

Mr Milligan, who is himself awaiting the outcome of a Fos case, said that having discussed the Lockstone decision with clients, solictors and mortgage intermediaries, no one agreed with it.

A spokesman for Fos said it would not be appropriate to comment on the petition.

FTAdviser.com has received 84 comments on the Lockstone decision as advisers vented their anger. One adviser, registered as Brieze, wrote: “I cannot help but feel that the world has truly gone completely and utterly insane.

“My sympathy to the mortgage broker. Maybe we should all stop paying the Fos levy and start a new fund for wronged advisers instead! God knows there are plenty out there.”

Another, under the title Dr Findlay’s Facebook, said: “This really looks like a perverse decision by Fos. The regulatory system really is not fit for purpose.”

IPL123 said: “I assume no sober person or organisation could continually reach the ludicrous conclusions this outfit does.”

Another warned: “Claim management companies will have a field day with this ruling. Re-mortgaged for any reason? Legally get your adviser to pay off the debt.”

The petition can be found online at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105284/sponsors/qex9P6N57Otw4hi1We