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Closure of chasers cuts pension claims

Pension complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service have fallen by 9 per cent from 5,297 to 4,825, largely due to the closure of a number of claim-chasers which referred frivolous Serps’ complaints the previous year.

Providers accounted for 67 per cent of all pension complaints, IFAs 18 per cent, banks 7 per cent and 8 per cent building societies and stockbrokers.

The FOS says complaints involving advice on transferring out of Serps fell by a third.

It says: “A significant number of Serps’ complaints had been submitted in the previous year by a small handful of claim management companies. Most of those cases had no realistic chance of success, given the circumstances involved and the fact that the claim management companies had done little work themselves to look at the actual merits of the individual cases. The claim management companies involved in this area are no longer in operation.”

A quarter of all complaints were referred to the FOS by commercial claim management companies on behalf of consumers, a 40 per cent increase.

Baronworth Investment Services director Colin Jackson says: “Ambulance-chasers are tak- ing advantage of people’s worries about their investments, pensions and endowments. It is a disgrace.”

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