AMI Senior Policy Adviser Stacy Penn discusses the Perception Gap in the protection market, in this article originally published in Moneyfacts…
As an industry we have positively subscribed to both FOS and FSCS as important safety nets for consumers when things go wrong. Whilst many in the investment space are critical of FOS, the mortgage fraternity are mostly supportive. Where real pain is being suffered is the rising tide of failed investment advice firms falling into FSCS default and good firms picking up the costs. The historic classifications are not appropriate to the world today and need to be changed as soon as possible. Also we fully understand that the Chancellor thought it wrong that Banks should benefit from fines levied on their brothers, so sequestered the funds for charitable benefit. If he had limited this to Banks it would have been fair.
By taking this from all authorised firms, the benefit of fee reductions to good firms from the fines on bad has been lost. The good firms have lost out in business to those who cheated and have to pay a second time for compensation with no fee reduction where the FCA has caught up with the bad boys.
Firms need to tell their MP’s and the House of Lords that this was unfair. Yes to stripping the banks, but not the small advice firms that have bought into FSCS with the concept that offset from the bad would reduce their bill. If we cannot have our money back, then we need a new contract that is based on a fairer system so that the toxic products have paid towards their solution. A product levy is the future unless we can have our fines back.