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FOS sees jump in investment and pension complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service has seen a marked increase in the number of investment and pension complaints it received over the last nine months of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

The latest FOS complaints data, published this week, shows the FOS received 1,173 complaints about portfolio management between April and December, up 24 per cent from 946 in 2011.

The FOS upheld 53 per cent of those complaints.

Complaints about investment Isas shot up by 81 per cent to 1,196, compared to 660 in 2011. Some 29 per cent of complaints were upheld.

With-profits bond complaints rose by 12 per cent from 522 to 584, with 19 per cent upheld. Unit-linked investment bond complaints also increased by 12 per cent, from 572 to 638, of which 44 per cent were upheld.

Complaints about open-ended investment companies increased by a massive 278 per cent from 37 to 140, with 47 per cent upheld.

Personal pension complaints rose 18 per cent from 1,303 to 1,537, with 33 per cent upheld.

Annuity complaints inc­reased 21 per cent from 363 to 439, with 27 per cent upheld, while complaints about Sipps rose 26 per cent from 360 to 455, with 58 per cent upheld.

The number of state earnings-related pension complaints increased by 46 per cent from 211 to 308, but just 2 per cent were upheld.

Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “Poor investment performance is often an excuse for people to complain.

“The FOS seems to judge complaints with hindsight, and ‘caveat emptor’ ends up going out the window.”

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