The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to consider introducing a 15 year time limit on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

At present complaints can be brought by consumers for an unlimited amount of time.

The FCA’s business plan for 2014/15, published in March 2014, says “We will consider the case for a 15-year time limit on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service to review whether the current arrangements are delivering the best outcomes for consumers overall.”

The news has been welcomed by the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA). It launched the ‘Fair Liability 4 Advice’ campaign in 2012 to fight for a long stop. APFA’s stance is widely supported. In September 2013 Tenet, a support service provider for advisers, launched an e-petition to ask the government to address the issue.

Introducing a time limit on complaints to the FOS would be welcome, and be consistent with the approach adopted by the law,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professional Risks. “The PII market for financial advisers is challenging. Anything that reduces the liabilities that IFAs face could help to make insurance cover more widely available.

News of the FCA’s plans has been published by Money Marketing and Financial Adviser.