No, but we would, Hear us out, right? The thing is, this new report finds that FOS isn’t doing what it’s meant to do, which is provide fair dispute resolution at speed and without being too spendy about it.

The report – well summarised by Jenna from Professional Adviser here – will make uncomfortable reading for those in FOS, but will resonate with many of you reading this. Unpredictability, random crackings of the whip, and a lack of transparency have all led to a lack of understanding and ultimately a lack of trust in the ombudspronoun, and that’s not good.

Interestingly, the – admittedly screamingly right-wing – IEA takes time to highlight individual responsibility and point out that the FOS isn’t there just because you’re sad that you invested in an awful unregulated investment because you read an advert that said you could get 10% returns a year with no risk, and a box of chocolates and a fountain pen too. See the links below for a story on LC&F investors that’s pretty relevant to this.

It’s all what we call a sair fecht up here, but we have the solution. The basic problem, right, is that no-one properly knows what the Ombudspronoun is going to do at any given point in time. Capriciousness is fun, but not in this case, and so what we need to do is inject some proper objectivity into the process.

And handing the whole thing over to cats is the perfect solution. Cats have excellent taste, can spot fakers a mile off, and are entirely predictable in their decision-making. Make this one small change, and ombudscat decisions would come down to two simple criteria: first, is this person a tosser, and second, which side in the dispute has presented the ombudscat with higher quality kibble? This is at least as fair as what goes on at the moment, everyone would know where they stood, and life would get immeasurably better. FOS spends £920 a case just now. We’ll be your ombudsfeline for £900 a pop and we’ll be more stylish while we’re at it.

And if that isn’t a goer, then at least let’s move FOS into a regulated position where it’s bound to uphold the law and its own precedents, rather than a shifting definition of what it thinks is fair. But we like the cat route better.

PROPER CONTENT ALERT

Every so often we like to crowbar some actual weighty stuff into your life in the hope that you won’t notice. As an example please open your hymnals to this week’s HomeGames, which features Mitesh Sheth, the CEO of Redington. Some of you won’t know Redington, or indeed Mitesh, but it’s a fascinating business led by a fascinating guy. This is a business which has set about making positive change in the murky world of institutional investment by the unfashionable means of actually doing it rather than talking about it.

Some of that is about ESG – and Steve Nelson will certainly ask Mitesh about that – but a lot of it is about creating a business which reflects the values of Mitesh and the other founders, and which acts as a case study for how the industry can be better.

One of the nice things about doing HomeGames is that we can sometimes bring guests in who you might not normally hear from because they work in slightly different spheres; not unconnected but sort of adjacent. I think you’ll love today’s session – if you can spare us 45 minutes then come and join us at 12.30pm right here. And if you can’t, here’s the lang cat’s YouTube channel to catch up later.

YOU CAN’T APPEAL THESE LINKS

  • And so it’s a sic transit for Ascentric; or at least the brand. M&G Wealth is what we will be calling the asset-centric platform from now on. Apart from the momentary thrill of reordering heatmaps and changing the order of the tiles on Platform Analyser, this is mainly interesting for what it hints at in terms of what M&G is trying to build. Find someone who looks at you the way M&G looks at Quilter and you’ll be all set…
  • Interesting twist in the JHP/Nucleus journey, with the nature of the transaction changing in the direction of ‘brute force’. Shareholder and employee dissent has certainly had an effect here, though perhaps not the one that the dissenters hoped for. That’s capitalism, folks.
  • Sour news for the mini-bond victims of LC&F. And for WASPI See again: ombudscats.
  • I wanted your music choice this week to be Garbage’s new single, because I love Garbage and was excited to hear the new record. Unfortunately it’s not very good. So instead, here’s my favourite Garbage song. This is a 1999 live version from Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh. I was at this gig, and this song was one of those transcendent moments. Please enjoy You Look So Fine. Maybe we’ll get back to gigs like this soon.

See you next week.

Mark