Petition for Fos reform attracts just 500 signatures

Petition for Fos reform attracts just 500 signatures

IFAs are being urged to sign a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the Financial Ombudsman Service and for it to be subject to common law.

The parliamentary petition was created by Neil Liversidge six months ago and has attracted fewer than 500 signatures since its launch.

But Mr Liversidge, who is managing director of West Riding Personnal Financial Solutions in Yorkshire and a member of the council of Apfa, believes, along with others, that this can change if advisers are made aware of the petition.

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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.

He 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.”

Adviser Robert Milligan supports the petition and 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.

He said: “Fos needs to be reined in.”

Mr Milligan, who is himself awaiting the outcome of a Fos case, said he had discussed the decision made against Mr Lockstone with clients, solictors and mortgage intermediaries and nobody agreed with it.

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

FT Adviser received 84 comments on the Lockstone decision as advisers vented their anger.

One, registered as Brieze, said: “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 Findlays Facebook, said: “This really looks like a perverse decision by Fos. The regulatory system really isn’t 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.”