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Sipp complaints up 37% amid pension transfer fears

ComplianceSipp complaints have risen by 37 per cent in the last year, according to the latest Financial Ombudsman Service data.

A total of 2,051 Sipp complaints were reported to the Ombudsman in the year to 31 March, up from 1,493 the previous year.

Pension transfer complaint fears are also rearing their heads again, as FOS reports an 11 per cent increase in complaints to 553, up from 496.

Pensions complaints across the financial services industry were up 2 per cent to 5,257, and complaints against IFAs about pensions were more likely than other types of cases to go in favour of the consumer, with 44 per cent upheld compared with 21 per cent for products like mortgages.

However, overall complaints against financial advisers fell by nearly a quarter over the last year, according to the FOS data.

FSCS tells Sipp misselling victims they don’t need a claims manager

For the year to March 2018, FOS received 1,678 complaints against financial advisers, compared to 2,197 the previous year.

Overall uphold rates in favour of the consumer for advice complaints have also ticked down from 33 per cent from 36 per cent, and annuity and drawdown complaints across financial services have remained stable.

While pensions still account for the greatest proportion of complaints against advisers, with 451 coming in during the period, payment protection insurance complaints also continued, with 56 registered against advisers.

Across all sectors, more than half of complaints were about PPI, and almost a quarter of the remaining complaints revolved around consumer credit.

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Comments

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  1. What the data doesn’t tell you is that the FOS appears to be very much in a state of paralysis whereby Sipp complaints referred to them are basically in limbo.

    The memorandum of understanding (MofU) updated in December 2017, stated ‘the aim to ensure that anyone with a pension complaint is aware of the respective organisations and is clearly directed to the right organisation so that their complaint is addressed properly and promptly’.

    Reality is that a complaint made to the FOS, as directed by the provider, which the FOS acknowledged on September 7th 2017 is as yet to be investigated. Following queries subsequently raised by the provider on or before February 22nd 2018 the FOS and Pensions Ombudsman have been ‘considering’ who is best placed to deal with my complaint. Some 15 weeks later they may come to a conclusion this week albeit they point out the provider still has leave to appeal any decision they dislike.

    Clearly the (MofU) has had the reverse effect albeit I suspect the dragging of heels has much to do with the pending outcomes of the Carey’s & Berkley Burke High Court cases and the Berkley Burke Judicial review of the FOS decision. The FOS deny that the pending Court decisions are delaying matters which then raises serious questions as to why it takes 15 weeks to make an unenforceable decision.

    Either this does very little to install public confidence in the complaints system particularly as the providers have an overriding opportunity to manipulate progress.

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