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Are Towergate in Breach of FSA Rules


Philr

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This is a pain in the backside. !!

 

If Towergate want to charge fees, thats fine, and I have no issue with that.

 

What I do have an issue with is how the Policy Documentation that comes off Open Trader does not show the fee.

 

As such it looks as though we have overcharged clients.

 

I have had 4 complaints about this in last 3 months, it only applies to Towergate Travel Policies, and certain Liability Policies. In 2 of the cases, I have ended up refunding the clients with the Towergate Fee, just so it didnt escalate into an FSA complaint. In both of these cases, we actually lost money by writing the policies !!.

 

Its a joke, are Towergate above transparency and TCF ?.

 

This has been raised with both OGI and Towergate, and the answer was basically " we know ", !!!

 

If it shows on the quotation and the quotation summary, then I cant see why it is not shown on the policy schedule.

 

Might do a poll on this one !!

 

 

 

 

 

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This is not good at all. This was raised as part of the Trder feedback survey. I'll ask Jon Mitchell for his comments and post them here.

 

S

 

We have had this problem as well, real pain in the bum.

Powerplace state they have correct some documents and others will soon follow., But who knows?

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Update from Jon Mitchell:

 

He advises this is a common gripe but Towergate are insistent this is correct under the current FSA regulations.

 

I'm going to respond to this but before I do can you let me know if this happens on all Towergate products or just certain ones?

 

The FSA thing isn't the main point for me. Surely they should be doing all they can to support Brokers and making selling their products as easy as possible.

 

I got some interesting chat on changing documentation on PowerPlace when I was in London the other week but it's not for the public forum.

 

Sara

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Update from Jon Mitchell:

 

He advises this is a common gripe but Towergate are insistent this is correct under the current FSA regulations.

 

I'm going to respond to this but before I do can you let me know if this happens on all Towergate products or just certain ones?

 

The FSA thing isn't the main point for me. Surely they should be doing all they can to support Brokers and making selling their products as easy as possible.

 

I got some interesting chat on changing documentation on PowerPlace when I was in London the other week but it's not for the public forum.

 

Sara

 

Awwwwwwww - tease! (not that it affects me directly hehe!)

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Excerpt from an email to Jon Mitchell re the fees issue:

 

Re the Towergate Fees issue - This is something that has been a hot topic in the past. It’s not just about whether or not Towergate are being compliant. There is a lack of consistency as the issue only seems to occur with travel and certain liability products so why does the fee show on the other Towergate PowerPlace products? Generally, the products that have the issue are ones that carry low premiums and when the clients complain Brokers are actually making a loss when they refund the fee. Surely this defeats the point of Open Trader and PowerPlace which is meant to be a tool to increase efficiency and therefore drive up profit. There is the compliance/transparency issue too and whilst this is open to interpretation the intention of those rules is to make sure there are no hidden charges and the insurer documentation is clear and not misleading. Would it be best for me to take this up with Towergate rather than PowerPlace?

 

I'll let you know what he says.

 

S

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Already raised ourselves with the Powerplace rep we had about 1 year back (thats 3 rep's ago!) .

 

Basically they said FSA rules say they cannot put fee on schedule ! (?). I said well maybe but they could produce an addendum sheet which shows the total sum payable as a breakdown.

 

Its really the Towergate Landlords policy that seems to have that problem and given the "interesting" endorsements applied we are not big fans of that product anyway

 

The quote document does show fee however.

Edited by DaveB
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We are working with OpenGI on a Trader based product (for use in the Republic of Ireland - I believe it will be the first). This issue was identified in late January. For us it was a showstopper becuase the Irish Financial Regulator is very clear on the need to always explicitly declare fees - no exceptions allowed. It took some time to get agreement on how to proceed, but we were recently notified that the necessary paltform change was underway and that fees would be catered for.

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Yes jdh, you are right. I contacted Max Carruthers a few months ago and highlighted the problem. I received confirmation in mid-may that that it will be addressed. Jon Mitchell from PowerPlace was at our last meeting and he was hopeful it would be complete by October although this is not set in stone and it could be later.........It is worth noting that this was nothing to do with PowerPlace - it was a Towergate issue.

 

Anyway, this is a huge result and one the User Group will be taking the credit for!

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