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DBS faces losing millions in legal case on fees

DBS stands to “lose millions” if legal action launchedagainst it over fees it charged members during the pension review is successful.

A test case brought by a disgruntled ex-member claims a £90 per case fee levied by the network for compliance costs of each review case was unlawful.

Maywill Financial Services principal Terry Willison says he was forced to pay between £5,000 and £6,000. But he claims that, under his contract, the network should not have been allowed to charge additional fees as compliance should have been covered by his membership.

He has consulted three solicitors, including his current representative Armstrong Neil, all of whom say he has a valid case.

Another IFA, who wouldnot give his name becausehe is still a member, says he was charged in the region of £16,000.

If Willison&#39s case is successful, his solicitor Gareth Fatchett predicts many other current and former members will come forward with similar complaints.

DBS says it is not aware of any legal action being brought against it. It says of the total costs it faced under the pension review of £12.7m, members were asked to pay £3.4m and shareholders paid the remaining £9.3m.

Fatchett says: “We believe the relationship between members and networks is very unequal. If the court agrees, DBS will stand to have to pay back millions. If we are wrong, it clarifies the situation for the FSAVC review.”

DBS chief executive Tony Kempster says: “We haveour own legal advice which says we have the right to recover our costs under the pension review.”

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