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Fraudsters and ombudsman complaints: the week in news

The FCA also reiterated its stance that it will not introduce a longstop for financial advisers.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA's director of strategy and competition, said he empathised with advisers but said the position had not changed.

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But Mr Woolard did acknowledge that the issue would probably be reviewed in years to come.

4) Whose side are you on?

The proportion of complaints upheld against the largest adviser firms fell sharply during the first six months of 2018, according to data from the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos).

St James's Place and Openwork, two of the largest financial advice firms in the country, received 57 and 66 complaints respectively while Sesame, which closed its wealth division in 2015, received 103.

While Sesame saw its number of complaints go up from the last six months of 2017 - from 88 to 103 - the other two companies saw their complaint numbers go down.

But Sesame did see the number of complaints upheld fall dramatically, from 30 per cent in the previous six month period to 12 per cent in the first half of 2018.

Meanwhile, St James's Place saw its proportion of upheld complaints fall from 29 per cent to 15 per cent and Openwork saw this measure fall from 47 per cent to 23 per cent.

5) Should advisers pay more for pension transfers?

Advisers who operate in the defined benefit transfer market should pay more towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, according to the safety net's chief executive.

Mark Neale said he was supportive of a risk-based levy, with advisers paying more towards the FSCS if they recommend riskier products and services.

He said it would not be "unreasonable" to expect advisers operating in the defined benefit pension transfer market to pay more, under this system.

The compensation scheme has previously stated it has begun receiving claims caused by bad advice to cash in defined benefit pensions but it has not been able to respond to FTAdviser's requests for figures on this.

Mr Neale said: "I always felt there was a strong case for [a risk-based levy] if you can find a sensible way of doing it.

"We are seeing increasing numbers of claims about trading in defined benefit rights. It seems to me it would not be unreasonable for firms operating in that market to pay a higher levy to reflect that."

damian.fantato@ft.com