Cold porridge and cold comfort have a lot in common: such meagre offerings do not come close to being satisfying.
Fos recently published its annual report into complaints made by consumers and upheld by Fos. While the results were very positive for financial advisers, this will be cold comfort to the hundreds of advisers who have seen their FSCS levy payments skyrocket over the past few years.
A closer look at the stats themselves reveals a positive picture of financial advice. The combined total of complaints received by all financial advisers, for the first six months of the year, is 966.
Of course, 966 complaints from consumers is 966 too many but, when the number is compared to the 170,000 complaints received by Fos so far in 2017, it becomes clear that complaints about financial advice make up a tiny amount of the total received.
The number of complaints made to Fos has increased by 13 per cent in comparison to the previous six months while, in contrast, the report shows that the number of complaints made against advisers in the same period has dropped by 7 per cent. This continues a trend that has been evident for several years.
Even this positive picture understates the reality, as when it comes to complaints upheld, the numbers drop even further. This information needs to be at the forefront of the FCA’s mind as it moves towards concluding the consultation into the FSCS funding structure and in particular the amounts currently being unfairly charged to advice firms.
Nonetheless, I hope that all financial advisers will take pride in this further evidence of the overall quality of advice being delivered to consumers.
The interests of clients need to be at the heart of every advisory firm and it is clear advisers are consistently demonstrating this by leading the field when it comes to providing sound advice and customer service.
The reality is that throughout the UK financial advisers are winning the trust of their clients, one person at a time, one family at a time, and one business at a time. I believe this heartwarming commitment and endeavour now needs to be rewarded by much more than cold comfort.
Ken Davy chairman of SimplyBiz Group