Secret commissions

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  • Stacker
    replied
    Originally posted by eagle2 View Post

    The FTT has been known to allow commissions in excess of 10%, I am not convinced that we shall see full disclosure of all commissions payable under an insurance policy and I am not sure how the new regulator will have the jurisdiction to require connected companies to declare commissions.
    Bribery ACT 2019 Commission

    Can a payment of commission be classed as a bribe under the Act? In situations where a party has a conflict of interest and accepts a commission on the basis that he or she will improperly direct more business to a party, yes it can. An example of this could arise where an insurer and a broker have entered into a contingent commission agreement on the understanding that the broker will direct business to the insurer. If as a consequence a broker improperly performs his duties by placing business with that insurer instead of other more suitable insurers, he could have arguably been bribed under the Act.

    In contrast to English agency law, disclosure of a commission is not a defence under the Act. In fact, disclosure of a commission could result in the admission of an offence. Insurers and brokers need to be mindful of not only the conduct of their own staff but also the conduct of any agents or other representatives that carry on or arrange business on their behalf.

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  • eagle2
    replied
    Originally posted by Stacker View Post

    The solution is transparency and accountability, stop inflating the cost of the insurance to the leaseholders.
    Transparency and accountability is only part of the issue. Proving that all commissions have been declared is another matter. Proving that 3rd parties are connected with the freeholders and agents is another matter.

    Insurance only scratches the surface, what about all the other expenditure and particularly contractors being connected with the freeholders and agents? Direct connections may be obvious, indirect connections are extremely difficult to spot. Multi million contracts are issued each year, those contractors can be "grateful" in many different ways.

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  • eagle2
    replied
    Originally posted by Stacker View Post

    So why aren't the Financial Ombudsman Services doing anything about this? They could help oversee and regulate the commercial insurance business for flats as they do with all other financial products?
    It is a much broader issue than insurance commission as fos333 has stated. There is no limit to the charges which freeholders and agents can invent to extract monies from the pot of funds which they hold. It can be extremely difficult to prove that part of the service charge expenditure has ended up in the hands of those holding the funds.

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  • eagle2
    replied
    Originally posted by Stacker View Post

    Disclosure is required so that the leaseholders know how much the policy has been inflated by. FTT tribunal cases state no more than 10% is acceptable because its to cover the claims handling should there be a claim so they can hardly charge hundreds for doing the work, the FTT know this and apply this....they base it on the time taken to manage any claims and if there are no claims then claiming a high commission is not justified. Also I found out that the brokers receive a commission from the insurance company for the volume of business they place with the insurer...so possibly the managing agent, freeholder and broker benefit at the expense of the leaseholder..
    The FTT has been known to allow commissions in excess of 10%, I am not convinced that we shall see full disclosure of all commissions payable under an insurance policy and I am not sure how the new regulator will have the jurisdiction to require connected companies to declare commissions.

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  • michelle230
    replied
    Thank you Gordon - you are spot on! I did mean LEASE not FTT. And yes - LKP would have been excellent if they had been allowed to be involved in LEASE which of course is meant to support leaseholders. How strange (or not!) that they were turned away. And yet Roger Southam was given the position of chaiirman!
    Hoping the CMA report and subsequent actions will not disappoint!
    Thanks again.
    Michelle

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  • fos333
    replied
    Originally posted by Stacker View Post

    RICS are always biased and in favour of protecting their own, its a sham!
    Hi Stacker,

    I had concluded this thread was dealing only with insurance commissions hence no further reply, however I feel I have to reply to the above.

    RICS are a sham and my initial investigation took 22 months from raising the issue to receiving a letter in review of the complaint from the Service Complaint Reviewer.

    He concluded "I have serious concerns about the handling of this case, partly for reasons given by the complainant, but more importantly for reasons that have emerged as a result of my examination of the file.

    This case has taken far too long to reach completion and the service to the complainant by way of contact and update has been inexcusable.

    My estimation of the quality of the service is that it was very poor. While I am unable to say whether disciplinary proceedings against the managing agent would or should have been justified by the facts presented, many points raised by the complainant time and time again were not addressed or examined adequately or properly responded to. At times the complainant was misled as to the progress of the investigation. The review by the senior manager did not properly address these failures.

    I find that the service provided to the complainant was affected by fundamental flaws.

    The allegations the complainant raised in his letter of 5 April 2018 have not been addressed and should be investigated, and that investigation should encompass other issues relating to the conduct of the managing agent as far as possible after an assessment of what is possible under RICS’s rules and regulatory framework.

    The complainant rejected the offer of financial compensation for the poor handling of his complaint. I can understand that he put a higher premium on seeing the managing agent held to account for what he believed to be serious failings than on being offered financial redress for poor service. He may not have been aware how poor the service actually was.

    Given the seriousness of the failings I have found, I recommend that RICS reconsider making a substantially higher offer of compensation to the complainant."

    The subsequent investigation was another 'white wash' by RICS, however due to having by this time successfully managed to be appointed as director of the RMC the managing agent was removed.

    I would recommend this action for any other leaseholder who has the opportunity of taking control of his/her own forward solution, rather than through any flawed redress scheme.

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  • Gordon999
    replied
    Originally posted by michelle230 View Post

    I have only ever witnessed the strong support they have given, and continue to give to leaseholders trapped in appalling situations. Along with exposing some of the worst offenders.
    If they had been allowed involvement in FTT, perhaps the system would be more balanced.
    Michelle,

    I think you may be mistaken in quoting FTT.

    LKP has wanted to get onto the Board of Leasehold Advisory Service ( LEASE ) to represent the leaseholders side..

    Eagle 2 is confusing the situation by objecting to you ( Michelle) representing LKP and getting involved with FTT .

    This is a total misunderstanding of LKP whihch is operates as a charity trust. to promote "leasehold reform"..

    The APPG for Leasehold Reform (in Parliament ) has 3 MPs as honorary chairmen and .has support from about 160 MPs as members..

    . .

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    During the previous Labour Government, disputes between L & T were brought to the LVT ( Leasehold Valuation Tribunal ) and many of the LVT Tribunal panel were recruited from RICS members and lawyers,
    When Conservative were elected to power in 2010 , the LVT seemed to be replaced by the FTT which is under the Courts.

    The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 created a 2-tier tribunal system: a First-tier Tribunal and an Upper Tribunal. The new structure brought together individual tribunals that had similar interests or operating practices into Chambers.

    The seven First-tier Tribunal Chambers are:
    • Immigration and Asylum
    • Social Entitlement
    • War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation
    • Health, Education and Social Care
    • General Regulatory
    • Property
    • Tax

    Each Chamber is headed by a Chamber President; overall responsibility for the tribunal system and judiciary rests with the Senior President of Tribunals.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    Originally posted by Macromia View Post

    This is the problem with a lot of regulations etc. that are supposedly in place to protect leaseholders.
    'Best practice' isn't decided by organisations that are there to protect the interests of leaseholders, it is decided by organisations like RICS, ARMA and ICAEW - organisations whose primary objective is to protect the interests of managing agents, accountants, etc. who will be making money off leaseholders.
    The illusion that the are " professional", work to mandatory codes,its the same with the property ombudsman in fact all Ombudsmans are a joke! Even the FSO..they have often been accused of failing the consumer...time for a change

    Leave a comment:


  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by Stacker View Post

    RICS are always biased and in favour of protecting their own, its a sham!
    This is the problem with a lot of regulations etc. that are supposedly in place to protect leaseholders.
    'Best practice' isn't decided by organisations that are there to protect the interests of leaseholders, it is decided by organisations like RICS, ARMA and ICAEW - organisations whose primary objective is to protect the interests of managing agents, accountants, etc. who will be making money off leaseholders.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    Originally posted by michelle230 View Post
    It's true and also difficult to prove especially if they own their own insurance broker as well.
    Also will cost you if you have been added to a multi block policy where some of those properties are considered risky for a variety if reasons.
    My F/H was found guilty of running an unauthorised HMO. Our insurance shot up even more!
    So do you get to see the policy, invoice and are you able to ask for sight of/ disclosure of the commissions?

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
    The newspaper article again raised nothing new, it just identified that insurance commission can amount to 40% to 60% of the premium and that the commission can be shared by 3 different parties. There is nothing wrong with raising the subject again but you wonder why the practice has not been stopped before and the proposal for disclosure of part of the commission is hardly the solution.
    The solution is transparency and accountability, stop inflating the cost of the insurance to the leaseholders.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
    Which estimated that leaseholders were being overcharged by £700 million per annum in 2011. The Select Committee noted that the leasehold sector is now larger and that figure is likely to be higher.

    ARMA estimate that £1.3 billion of unprotected client money is held by managing agents.

    That is the scale of the problem and explains why unscrupulous individuals have been attracted to the sector.
    So why aren't the Financial Ombudsman Services doing anything about this? They could help oversee and regulate the commercial insurance business for flats as they do with all other financial products?

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    fos333,

    RICS are always biased and in favour of protecting their own, its a sham!

    Leave a comment:


  • Stacker
    replied
    Leaseholders pay up to 60% more for buildings insurance because of secret commissions, reports The Times

    By Harry Scoffin The property section of The Times has this month been leading on calls to end opaque insurance arrangements for leasehold blocks. In a sign of how leasehold is now dominating the news agenda, the title’s investment editor Mark Atherton has published on the issue of secret commissions over two consecutive Saturdays. Leaseholders […]

    Leave a comment:

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