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FOS provisionally upholds £89,000 Ucis complaint against Mint

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The Financial Ombudsman Service has provisionally upheld a complaint against a Mint Financial Management adviser who recommended a client invest more than 50 per cent of his pension pot in a Stirling Mortimer Ucis fund.

In August 2007, the adviser recommended the 57-year-old client switch from a Legal & General personal pension into a Sipp. He advised him to invest £89,000 of his £173,960 pot into the Stirling Mortimer No.4 Cape Verde Fund.

In a provisional decision, seen by Money Marketing, the ombudsman says the investor wanted a medium or medium-to-low risk investment but was placed in the high risk Stirling Mortimer Ucis fund.

He has provisionally upheld the complaint, saying Mint should pay the client the value of the return he would have got had he invested in line with the Apcims income total return index.

The ombudsman says: “It seems to me that the only reason for recommending the transfer into the Sipp was to be able to gain access to the Stirling Mortimer fund, which I have considered unsuitable. The Stirling Mortimer fund should not have been considered an appropriate investment.”

Mint initially rejected the complaint, considering the advice to be suitable. The complaint was then referred to the FOS through law firm Regulatory Legal.

Regulatory Legal director Gareth Fatchett says: “This case shows once again the sale of unregulated products needs to be handled carefully.”

Mint was acquired by Intrinsic Financial Services in February 2008. Intrinsic was unavailable for comment.

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Comments

There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Herpaderpadurkadurk 10th October 2012 at 10:54 am

    I recommended that all my clients invest into this SUPER UCIS fund, and have been very impressed with the returns which, when viewed upside down, make for very pleasant reading.

  2. Can anyone teach me how to do percentages please? 🙁

  3. Dear Herpaderpadurkadurk,

    My name is Ian McChicken, and I work for the FSA. Please could you let me know which firm you work for? We would like to pay you a little visit.

    Kind regards,
    Ian McChicken (ian.mcchicken@fsa.gov.uk).

  4. Dear Ian, I’m your boss mate, stfu k?

    Ty

    Merv

  5. Whilst everyone has the choice about this, the FOS is a “free” service for the consumer. Why would they elect to take a complaint to FOS via a Solicitor? Seems a bit odd really?

  6. Dear Mr McChicken,

    I’d just like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to you and your colleagues in your most valiant efforts to destroy the IFA sector which has long needed putting in it’s place. Even though I no longer work at the Treasury I know that my legacy is in safe hands.

    Lots of love
    Mark

    p.s. with a name like yours have you ever thought of working for Macdonalds?

  7. Nick

    I agree that it seems rather odd to use a Solicitor to handle such a complaint. Maybe the client was unable, through ill health or disability, to actually complete the forms. I’d hate to think it was just so that the Solicitor could earn a fee.

    Also, who provided the provisional report to the paper and was the Solicitor authorised to engage in dialogue with the press about the case?

  8. Dear Herpaderpadurkadurk,

    Clueless!!

    Mr McChicken you are going to be a busy chap dealing with all the advisers who jumped on the “I want to earn a quick buck with total disridard for the client brigade!”

    There are lots of advisers moving funds into SIPPS purely and simply to invest client funds into all sorts of obscure property ventures around the world and “ethical” investments. Why – Front end commission!!

    How do you guys sleep at night?

    I’m with the FSA on this one.Thank god they banned UCIS’s. They need to question some “Alternatives” which are actually UCIS’s.

  9. Funny how that name Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal appears in all sorts of unexpected places.

  10. there is a lot more of this to come and a lot of it is less transparent than the Reeves and Mortimer funds with lesser investment cred.s

    this is all but the tip of the iceberg.

    as a CF24 I have been asked to set up lots of SIPPs for non experienced/sophisticated investors in non reg investments including property abroad. I am glad to say I declined all and each.

    this is really the tip of the iceberg and I really query how many of the investors are truly in the correct classification.

  11. Strangely the FOS do not think my wife and I were defrauded by Barclays – even with documentary evidence.

    Despite us having proven the FSA ‘lack integrity’ with an official complaint – *nobody* will tell us the difference between fraud and ‘mis-selling’.

    The FOS will not even give us damages for ‘mis-selling’ even though it clearly beats the criteria by a mile.

    Why is the system and the people running it not corrupt?

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