The percentage of complaints against financial advisers continues to account for less than 1 per cent of the 270,000 complaints that were received by the Financial Ombudsman Service, so you would have thought that the advice profession represented a low risk for PI Insurers.
The lack of a long-stop, however, means that 15 per cent of the complaints received for our profession relate to financial advice given more than 15 years ago, which should provide food for thought for the unique financial challenge faced by financial advisers.
There are few other professions or sectors where what you recommended more than a decade ago could impact your livelihood today.
The Financial Ombudsman Service complaint data also highlights the challenge professional indemnity insurers face when it comes to offering affordable, comprehensive coverage for our profession and is why run-off cover is near extinct.
While we acknowledge the FCA and Treasury have a list of urgent priorities at present, the challenges being faced by advice firms, with pending PI insurance renewals and those who have had little option but to accept unacceptable terms or cease trading, is leaving the sector and consumers exposed.
Amid the current Covid-19 health and economic crisis, financial advice is more important than ever before, and we cannot as a society afford to lose such valuable services. An overhaul of the current system of funding for consumer compensation is desperately needed...
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Keith Richards is the CEO of the Personal Finance Society and has more than 30 years’ experience within the financial services sector. This exclusive column appears in the July-Aug issue of Financial Planning Today magazine and the column appears in each issue. To find out more about the magazine and to subscribe click here