The FSA has hit out at what is says is the "topical myth" IFAs only cause 2% of Ombudsman (FOS) complaints, and claims they caused more than double the pensions grievances banks did last year.
It argues the total figure for complaints referred to the FOS includes complaints about services and products, such as banking and credit, which are not provided by IFAs. Therefore this comparison, from which the 2% figure is taken, is not a fair one, it says.
Instead, the FSA says it is fairer to look at data relating to products and services provided by both IFAs and banks, such as investments and pensions.
Around 14% of new cases referred to the FOS in 2009/10 relate to these areas. This equates to 22,278 cases out of a total of 163,012, of which 50% of the total were upheld.
The FSA does not say how many of the 22,278 cases it has taken into account were upheld.
Of these 22,278 cases, IFAs accounted for 28% of pension complaints while the banks only had 10%.
IFAs also accounted for 12% of investment-related complaints, compared with 29% for the banks the FSA says.
Advisers often use the 2% FOS figure as a reason why the regulatory overhaul of the RDR is unneccessary, and as evidence IFAs are not the sector causing consumer detriment.
In its first RDR newsletter, the FSA says it wants to put an end to the myths around the rule change.
"We hear many misconceptions of the RDR.Here we will aim to put an end to the most topical myths", it says.
The FSA says complaint volumes are an important indication of the quality of advice or services received.
However it adds an absence of complaints is not a reliable indicator of good quality advice.
It says the time lag between the advice being given and a problem developing, and often the firm no longer being in business when a problem is discovered, means that a consumer may never realise they have been advised to purchase an inappropriate product, or complain if they do.
The FSA says its evidence suggests there are problems which need addressing across all size advisory firms and within both restricted and independent advice.
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