The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) should allow financial advisers at least 10 free cases a year to reflect the low number of upheld complaints made against them, the Association of IFAs (AIFA) says.
Currently the FOS allows for three free cases and yesterday announced it would not be extending this for 2009/10.
However, AIFA praised the FOS's decision to cut fees for IFAs by 12.5% as a result of their good record.
"We are disappointed the Ombudsman has chosen not to increase the number of free cases from the current level," AIFA director general Chris Cumming says.
"We will continue to lobby for a fairer system for advisers across the board. This should include an increase in the number of free cases to ten.
"The case fee can be a significant burden for small firms despite only being a fraction of the Ombudsman's case load in comparison to that of the banks and insurers. Small businesses are under huge amounts of pressure in the current economic climate."
Cummings also says "now is the appropriate time" for a complete review of the Ombudsman by the National Audit Office. "We must make sure we are getting good value from the Ombudsman service," he says.IFAonline
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