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Retentions knock-back

THE OFFICE of Fair Trading has dealt a severe blow to the campaign to abolish retentions by forcing a trade association to scrap its ban on members signing contracts involving the practice.

Lift and Escalator Industry Association (Leia) members agreed to shun contracts including retentions in July 1999.

But the OFT has ruled that the resolution restricted commercial freedom and customer choice after complaints from local authorities Leia boss David Fazakerley said: 'We have withdrawn the resolution, but we have a guarantee scheme backed by a recognised insurance company which offers cover to clients at a fraction of the cost to our members.'