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Sipp provider accused of gagging FOS complaints

A Sipp provider has been accused of sending “threatening” letters to clients to stop them allowing Financial Ombudsman Service decisions against the firm to go public.

Carey Pensions helped clients transfer their pensions into higher risk investments after cold-callers introduced transfer business to the firm.

Hundreds of customers moved money without financial advice into investments including storage pods, with returns on some schemes never materialising.

77 complaints against the firm are under consideration at the FOS. 24 provisional decisions have already been made, with all ruling in favour of clients against Carey and awarding full compensation.

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The decisions argue that Carey should have conducted more checks on the cold-caller passing it business. They say that it should have known that an individual whom previous regulator the Financial Services Authority published a warning note against was instrumental in running the company.

However, an investigation by Radio 4’s You and Yours programme has found that Carey Pensions has instructed solicitors to write letters to at least a dozen clients asking them to pull out of the FOS process before the decisions are made binding and published.

The programme says that the letters inform the clients that the FOS decision is wrong, and offer them a smaller, but faster cash settlement if they sign a non-disclosure agreement and make sure that no final decision is published.

A client interviewed by the programme describes the letters as “long and threatening.”

Carey told the programme that it is not responsible for the losses as it does not give financial advice, and was trying to help clients through the process.

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Comments

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

  1. If true, these allegations surely warrant swift and decisive action from the FCA, though no comment appears to have been sought from that source. Can you tell us why Mr Cash?

    • Because Julian, like any other public service company that is ran by bureaucrats, there is a thing called process…..

      This in turn means; why use one bit of paper when 50 is much better, why have one consultation meeting when 20 is more prudent, there is also the decision of the use of outside “consultants” (x FCA staff) to chip in their 2 pence worth on how to move this forward…..

      And we wonder why ? and the FCA deny being retrospective

      With an average wage of £101,000 (salary budget divided by staff) the least they can do is look like they are busy !!

      Give them (FCA) a break !!! the poor lambs must be rushed of their hooves

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