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May 2009

'A silly statement'

Sir,

THE letter in your April edition from Maurice Hardy, PR Officer for the Ombudsman for Estate Agents Scheme, states that I do not know the difference between regulation and redress.

That is a silly statement to make as I was commenting in my previous letter on what OEA chairman Bill McClintock had to say and not on what the OEA are.

My company has been a member of the Ombudsman Scheme from when you joined because you believed in what it stood for and not because it was compulsory.

Now, every agent has to join and soon every member of the staff from these agencies will also be registered with the OEA.

If I remember rightly, this is how the Mortgage Code Compliance Board started, with a fee of £80. Five years later, the Financial Services Authority took over and fees rose 20-fold.

It may be the companies that pay the cheque but it is Joe Public who picks up the tab and what a big tab it is.

Bill McClintock is, I am sure, a very clever guy.

He must understand that when such a powerful figure in our industry as he is takes the time to write to the foremost media company in our industry to express an opinion about that industry it cannot be a personal one but more of a wish list for the future of the OEA. And when a PR Officer writes to defend not only Bill but also the OEA, this he could not do off his own bat but only with permission.

I agree with Chris Arnold (EAN, March) that standards do need to improve and more training does need to be undertaken. The corrupt and incompetent do need to be removed from the industry. Hopefully, the current downturn will get rid of the incompetent but unfortunately the corrupt ones are always around in every industry.

FRANK BRETHERTON,
Chief executive,
LFS Group,
Ormskirk,
Lancashire.