AMI and AIFA urge members to ‘question regulation’

Ramesh Sharma

March 18, 2006

Speaking at the event, Chris Cummings, director-general at AIFA and AMI, urged members to question any aspects of the market they were unhappy with. He drew particular attention to the escalating costs of regulation. He said: “The costs and burden of regulation creep up year-upon-year. Taken on their own, each may look reasonable, and of little concern. That is why we must always question – is this necessary? How much will it cost? What benefit will result? Without robust questioning, regulation will strangle growth, entrepreneurship and the essential dynamism that actually benefits consumers.”

However Sarah Gwilt, mortgage adviser at Dickson Lishman Prince, said: “Regulation is here to stay and brokers who are good don’t have the time to question its validity, it’s just a question of getting on with it to be honest. Regulation is good for clients and the market as it has got rid of a lot of the rogues.”

Also speaking at the event was Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), who said concerns surrounding the complaint procedure would be acted upon. He said: “The majority of complaints against IFAs are not upheld. But we are aware that when a small firm, in particular, has received more than the two ‘free’ cases allowed a year, the fact these further complaints may not be upheld provides little comfort since the firm still has to pay the fees. We realise this can cause resentment and I have some sympathy.” He said the FOS would be publishing a consultative paper to address funding and the issues surrounding case fees and the general levy.

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