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A personal complaints handling service
Mr H won £78,000 for unsuitable pensions advice where he transferred from a guaranteed pension into a SIPP.
Mrs C won £32,000 for unsuitable pensions advice where she transferred from a guaranteed pension into a SIPP.
Mr L won £20,000 for unsuitable pensions advice where he transferred is pensions into a SIPP.
A SIPP is a Self Invested Personal Pension.
Guaranteed pensions include a guaranteed growth rate for the fund and a guaranteed annuity rate which in many cases is double or treble current rates.
Are you eligible to make a claim?
If you have taken advice from a bank, insurer or any other financial adviser with regards to how to invest your capital then that advisor is required to make sure that the advice you receive is suitable and specific to you and your needs. If it should ultimately transpire that the advice you have received was not entirely suitable or that information about your investment or savings plan was withheld or misrepresented then you will have grounds to make a complaint.
Given that each individual's needs vary so much and the scope of advice people receive in respect of their investments is so wide, reasons for complaint can vary. If your investment or savings plan's performance is not meeting your expectations or if you have encountered any unforeseen volatility that you were not prepared to accept it may be possible that your holdings are not suited to your individual risk profile or that you were not made fully aware of the particulars of the funds or plan you were entering into and this should prompt you to look into the matter and possibly take a second opinion.
Other factors which are likely to be influential in your decision to make a complaint may be that your plan does not meet your requirements to be entirely tax efficient, you required more flexibility in terms of contributions or withdrawals than the plan you were recommended allows, you were given "guarantees" which can no longer be relied upon, you have recently learned about charges or market value reductions which you were previously unaware of.
Due to the complex and dynamic nature of the investments and savings arena we suggest that you contact us to discuss your individual circumstances and seek an opinion on the suitability of the advice, only if there are genuine grounds for a complaint will we take it forward and estimate the value of your claim for redress or 'compensation' as it is more commonly known, we will advise you personally in this respect.
How much compensation can you expect?
Due to the fact that each complaint is individual and the circumstances of each case are entirely specific to the complainant, compensation amounts do vary. In all cases we will strive to ensure that you are put back into the position which you would have been in had you received the advice which would have been suitable at the time you took out your plan. This may involve a lump sum cash payment based on a comparison of what you could have been earning if your capital had been invested elsewhere.
How will you know if the award is fair?
You can be assured that we will be acting in your best interests at all times and we will always endeavour to put you back in the position you would have been had you not received unsuitable advice. We check all calculations thoroughly to ensure that they are compliant with Financial Services Authority rules, we also regularly dispute offers made by companies when we feel that they are insufficient and as a result of our actions the offers have often been increased.
Will you be charged for this service?
Although we will tell you at outset whether there is an initial charge for complex cases in many instances we operate on a No Win, No Fee* basis, so you will only be charged if your complaint is successful and you receive compensation as a result. If the claim is carried to its conclusion and is lost, you will not be charged for work carried out on your behalf.
*The only occasion other than the above when a fee is payable is if during the course of your claim you decide to cancel our contract. A fee will then be payable to reflect the work carried out on your behalf and any expenses paid up to the point of cancellation. The fee will cover an hourly rate of £85.
How much will you be charged for this service?
The charge is 20% of any compensation paid.
If you instruct us to act on your behalf what happens next?
Before we start your claim we will provide you with written correspondence detailing our service and our Terms of Engagement. Once you have signed and returned our documentation you will have a 14 day 'cooling off' period in which you can cancel the agreement, however we will start the ball rolling immediately by contacting your provider in order to avoid any time constraints being applied to your case. We will:
What happens if the Financial Ombudsman Service does not uphold your complaint?
Our agreement would come to an end and you will not owe us a penny.
What can you do if you are unhappy with our service?
During then process of your claim we will at all times endeavour to:
Customer relations are very important to us, we strive to meet and where possible exceed our customers’ expectations, but occasionally we may fall short in some way. In these circumstances we want to know, we assure you that we take every complaint received very seriously and deal with them professionally and courteously in accordance with our internal complaints procedure.
Our internal complaints procedure is designed to resolve our clients’ concerns quickly and efficiently.
Can you claim independently?
Yes you can. As with anything in life you can elect to ‘do it yourself’ in the same way that you can prepare and file your own tax return without the use of an accountant, or buy and sell your own property without the use of a solicitor. However, many people choose to employ the services of someone who is an expert in their field.
Evan Owen is a professional, regulated claims management specialist with 27 years of very wide experience in the financial services industry, more recently involved in defending firms against firms. The whole purpose of our claims procedure is to take the burden of making a complaint completely off your shoulders. We therefore undertake to manage all aspects of your claim from start to completion, making the whole process as hassle free for you as possible.
Evan Owen is regulated by the Ministry of Justice in respect of claims management activities. My registration number is recorded on the Ministry of Justice website 25138
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