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FOS sees spike in Sipp and personal pension cases


The Financial Ombudsman Service has seen complaints about personal pensions and self-invested personal pensions rise by over a third.

The FOS’ latest quarterly complaints figures, published today, show it received 458 complaints about personal pensions between July and September. Of these, 27 per cent were upheld.

The number of complaints is up by 39 per cent compared to the 329 personal pension cases the FOS received last year.

The FOS also received 281 complaints about self-invested personal pensions in Q3, of which 47 per cent were upheld. This is up by 34 per cent compared to Q3 2014, when 210 complaints were received.

The number of complaints about mortgages and term assurance fell year-on-year, however.

There were 2,609 complaints about mortgages between July and September, of which 30 per cent were upheld. This is down by 22 per cent from the 3,333 complaints received during the same period in 2014.

There were 524 complaints about term assurance, of which 26 per cent were upheld. The number of complaints is 23 per cent lower than the 677 cases that were received in Q3 2014.

The FOS received 327 complaints about investment Isas during the period, of which 37 per cent were upheld. This is up by 29 per cent compared to July to September 2014, when 254 investment Isa complaints were received.

The number of complaints about annuities was unchanged year-on-year at 207. Of these, just 18 per cent were upheld.

Overall the FOS received 85,896 complaints between July and September, of which 51 per cent were upheld.

This is down by 2 per cent compared to July and September 2014, when the FOS received 88,038 complaints.


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. How many of the extra complaints had anything to do with the new ‘freedoms”?

  2. A main cause of this sharp escalation in SIPP complaints, is the recent proliferation of so called Claims Management Companies (CMCs), who have moved on from PPI to running road shows, seminars and media advertising that encourage all and sundry to make a ‘complaint’ about their PP, their SIPP or other investment, in the hope of generating some ‘compensation’ where the CMC has nothing to lose, no costs, and potentially a lot to gain.

    This can happen because FOS is a free service to consumeres, (that is actually financed by financial advisers), the CMCs are throwing everything and anything at the FOS and using it as a ‘free’ clearing house in the hope that some cases will stick.

    The reality is that many of the CMC complaints, lodged on behalf of their ‘clients’, are frequently disingenuous, malitious, vexatious, poorly documented, very generic, and lacking in documented evidence.

    This unfair process places a huge amout of responsibility and work on to the adviser firm, and its staff, who must adhere to the FCA’s rules on complaint processing, irrespective of the outcome.

    The point here is that the CMCs can only benefit, at little or no cost to themselves, who simply flood the FOS with one-sided complaints, and make absolutely no attempt whatsoever to comply with the FOS guidelines and rules regarding trying to resolve matters before going to the FOS.

    Some FOS adjudicators, already swamped, and probably not particularly experienced, and not having the relevant financial advice exams behind them, (I don’t know how many are ‘Pension Transfer Specialists’), appear to be institutonally biased in favour of the complainant, and simply take their word for it, without requesting proper evidence to the contrary that might support a different outcome.

    This in turn leads to more and more costs of compensation falling on the FSCS.

    Furthermore, these outcomes also frighten the PI insurance underwriters into increasing premiums,and/or adding further exclusions and increasing the excesses, and so it goes on and on…..

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