I see that Biba has finally decided to get serious about insisting that travel agents selling travel policies come under FSA regulation (News, 15 June).
Regrettably, it will only be successful if it is in the Chancellor's best interest and not the consumers. Financial Ombudsman Services statistics show that for complaints it receives in respect of travel insurance, the majority are for policies sold via travel agents.
I quite clearly remember when travel agents were 'up in arms' about brokers charging only IPT on travel policies while they had to add VAT at a much higher rate. It took the Treasury a millisecond to decide to enforce VAT on all travel policies, regardless of the channel through which they were sold.
However, I am partly in agreement with the Association of British Travel Agents' spokesman's statement "to go beyond following the ABI code of conduct would be unnecessary, bureaucratic and expensive".
Exactly my sentiments about the whole FSA fiasco. Unfortunately, Mr Abta spokesman, if we have to needlessly fund the FSA 'cash cow' then in all fairness (refer to IPT/VAT situation above) so should your members.
Here's a suggestion for the Biba chairman: let's have a whip round and give a loan to this government, it will definitely listen to us then.
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