Bank advice has again been put under the microscope after a BBC Panorama investigation found advisers in high street banks misleading consumers over potential investments.
The show sent two undercover reporters into high street banks under the guise that they had £90,000 to invest and wanted advice on potential investment opportunities.
One was told that on no stage could he lose that money. The bank adviser said: “It can’t be that you have £50,000 and one day you look at it and it’s zero. It simply can’t happen.”
Speaking on the programme, Bestinvest senior investment adviser Adrian Lowcock said: “It has not been very clear. Charges were not very well explained, risk was not very well explained and fact finds were rushed. On some occasions we saw misleading on the charges conversion and confusion on risk conversations and that doesn’t seen fair on clients.”
The show also details an investor who went to Abbey National – now Santander – to invest an £11,000 sum. Despite insisting that it was crucial the money was safe, the figure had more than halved in six months.Santander turned down her complaint of misselling only for the Financial Ombudsman Service to order the bank to repay the amount lost, plus interest. The investor was still out of pocket after using a claims firm to help her recoup the losses.
In January, the FSA fined Barclays Bank £7.7m for advice failings relating to its sale of Aviva funds. Last month, the FSA fined Bank of Scotland £3.5m for mishandling complaints about its investment advice and ordered it to pay £17m compensation to customers.
The show is set to air on BBC One at 20.30 tonight.