Earlier this year, Money Marketing unearthed concerns from former clients of Barclays who say they were advised to cash in all their investments and put them into a single fund – the Aviva global balanced income fund.
Not only did the clients say they were advised to put all their eggs in one basket- the provider then admitted to Money Marketing that it misclassified the fund, which should have been adventurous, not balanced.
At the PFS RDR conference on July 10, Money Marketing pressed Barclays Financial Planning products director David Stuart on what he was going to do to ensure this type of behaviour is not repeated going forward.
He insisted Barclays is dedicated to the highest levels of customer service. However Park House Financial Services partner Richard Davis says the bank continues to reject complaints about advice surrounding this particular range of funds.
This week Money Marketing wrote about an elderly widow concerned about a fall in her fixed-interest bond who wanted capital security but was advised to transfer into an Aviva fund which invested up to 40 per cent in equities.
Davis, who is now servicing the client, says the decision has led to her investment falling double the amount it would otherwise have fallen.
The client complained to Barclays but had the complaint rejected and she will join the growing number of complaints from Barclays customers ending up with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Does more need to be done to stop large organisations hiding behind the drawn-out complaints processes and small print?
Does this episode prove the FSA is right to ensure multi-tied and tied advisers are qualified to the same standards as IFAs under the RDR? The banks are certainly lobbying behind the scenes to try and water down these proposals.
The FOS has announced it will publish complaints data for firms with 30 new and 30 closed cases in a six month period. Will this do enough to make the complaints process more transparent?
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