Berkeley Alexander predicts non-selling scandal

Sarah Davidson

April 1, 2015

He envisaged a time when non-selling will form part of Financial Conduct Authority regulation; where the financial adviser will be responsible for not mentioning insurance like income protection when customers are taking out mortgages.

Hall said: “We’ve had the mis-selling scandal, but we have yet to have the non-selling scandal.

“There will be a scenario where the adviser could have sold the policy, but they didn’t discuss it.

“The customer won’t be able to pay their mortgage because of illness and they will complain that ‘if I’d have known I would have bought income protection’.

“You can’t expect the client to know what they need, that’s the adviser’s job.”

He speculated whether the Financial Ombudsman Service would hold the adviser responsible if such a situation arises.

The FOS wouldn’t be drawn on the subject, but Hall thinks the rules will change in favour of the consumer in the next 20 years as the UK becomes more of a “nanny state towards selling”.

Hall added: “The regulator and the Ombudsman will become more customer-centric.

“That’s the nature of the complaints process. As more and more rules and laws change it’s always going to favour consumer protection.

“Advisers don’t have to sell it – they just need to mention it.

“That is going to be part of regulation – I can guarantee that’s how it’s going to go.”

He is a critic of the Mortgage Market Review, as he accused the FCA of “missing the point” when it comes to stress tests by not bringing up what happens if the customer can’t pay their mortgage because of illness.

Hall reserved praise for the Pink network’s decision to make all of its advisers bring up income protection in their first mortgage meeting with the client.

He added: “I’m surprised other networks haven’t followed.

“They say every adviser should do it because that’s the correct thing to do, it’s not about making more money.”

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