The Tenet Group  

Tenet reveals how to handle the ombudsman


Tenet’s Caroline Bradley has reassured advisers not to fear the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos) as she revealed it had a “healthy engagement” with the organisation.

When asked whether advisers should be concerned about the ombudsman’s ability to look back with the benefit of hindsight at past recommendations by intermediaries, Ms Bradley, group risk and regulatory director at Tenet, said: “We do find that in some cases Fos might look back unfavourably at past decisions.

“However, we’ve actually got quite a healthy engagement with Fos at Tenet. We do have regular meetings. Even Caroline Wayman, head of Fos, has made herself available to us.”

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She revealed Tenet’s own statistics which showed out of last year’s cases, there were 75 complaints, only six of which were upheld. 

“I think advisers needn’t fear Fos maybe as much as they think,” Ms Bradley suggested.

“The thing we can do at Tenet is on behalf of our members represent them in a very clear way. And actually being very clear with the Fos adjudicators is really important, putting it in a simple, clear way that they can understand why the advice was good.

"In doing that, we do help our advisers defend their advice.”

Ms Bradley only recently took over as group risk and regulatory director from Mike O’Brien, who left Tenet on 30 June to join JLT.

She told FTAdviser the “really big deal” for Tenet and its advisers at the moment was Financial Services Compensation Scheme funding.

“We pay more in FSCS costs per annum than we do for our professional indemnity insurance so we’re insuring our own advice to make sure where the advice wasn’t perfect we have to compensate the members.

“But yet we’re paying more again on top of that for the advice of bad advisers who have gone out of business and we do feel that that is grossly unfair.”

She also called on the Financial Conduct Authority not to let regulation get in the way of advisers being able to do their jobs.

The FCA this week set out details of how the senior managers regime will affect financial advisers and last month published the final report of its asset management market study.

Ms Bradley said: “For us, it’s really giving them a playing field where the regulation doesn’t get in the way of doing a good job. We don’t mind things like price transparency but just don’t make the rules too complicated for us.

“We just campaign for things that are helpful to our members.”

To hear the full interview with Ms Bradley, watch the video at the top of this page.