Ex-colleagues of Lord David Lipsey have reacted furiously to the reasons he gave for quitting his role as chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) after only six months.
Members say they have been misrepresented by Lipsey, who accused them of refusing a more active role in protecting consumers following his resignation last week.
Advisers will be dismayed to hear of the level of infighting at the panel which they pay for through FSA fees.
The FSA announced Lipsey's exit on 28 November saying it and other FSCP members disagreed with the Labour peer's vision for the future of the panel.
But FSCP member Tony Hetherington says expanding the panel's role and increasing its budget had never been discussed, and criticised Lipsey for his stand-off approach.
"On many occasions he [Lipsey] didn't discuss things with the panel, preferring to rubber-stamp projects by himself," Hetherington says.
"There was a major split in the panel, and I think five or six members might have been forced to leave by the end of the year. He told me I should consider my position."
Acting FSCP chair Adam Phillips says the panel discussed reviewing the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) when Lipsey joined in July but opted to wait until major projects, including the RDR, had been completed.
"When Lipsey joined, he proposed reviewing FSMA, but there were so much to do at that time the panel decided to wait until January," he says. "We had yet to discuss whether increased resources or staff would be necessary."
Philips also refutes suggestions the FSA was in the process of reducing the resources available to the panel, saying the issue was being discussed at the time Lipsey stepped down.
He adds Lipsey found it difficult to get the panel to reach a consensus, particularly compared with his predecessor John Howard.
"I think he got off on the wrong foot with many panel members, myself included, when he criticised our work in a newspaper interview before taking office," Philips says.
However, Lipsey stands by his claim the panel would not accept the wider role he proposed for them, adding he struggled to maintain working relationships with some members.
"I felt I had a mandate for change but some did not want a wider role," he told IFAonline. "I could not continue to run the panel with its existing narrow focus."
Contact: John Bakie, Tel: 020 7484 9805, e-mail: [email protected]IFAonline
Succeeding co-founder Simon Rogerson
Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index
More than 10 million shares allocated
Long-term strategic holding
What made financial headlines over the weekend?