The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) says it will cut its case fees for financial advisers by 12.5% to reflect the low number of complaints made against them.
However, for other firms fees will rise from £450 to £500 and will be paid by those that have four or more disputes referred during the year. The first three cases will continue to be free.
AIFA has welcomed the reduced levy for IFAs. "This is a positive step from the Ombudsman," director general Chris Cummings says.
"It is recognition that IFAs have got a very good track record in terms of the low number of complaints generated by our profession and the even lower percentage of complaints that are upheld."
The FOS says the general fee increase reflects an anticipated 44% increase in the number of disputes in the upcoming financial year.
It says it expects complaints to rise to 165,000 from 115,000 with a 78% increase in the number of mortgage complaints and a 40% increase in pensions and investments.
The growth in workload, the FOS says, will increase its operating costs from £62.7m, as forecast for 2008/09, to £92.5m. It says this includes the cost of 300 additional adjudicators.
It adds its average cost of handling a case, forecast at £544 for the current financial year, is expected to rise by 2.8% to £559 in 2009/10. Average salary at the FOS is £35,000.
To comment on the FOS budget proposals, write to Adrian Dally, Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR by 23 February.IFAonline
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