View more on these topics

Towry receives over 2,000 complaints plus 97% upheld

Towry received over 2,000 complaints in the second half of last year, with 97 per cent of complaints upheld over the same period.

The bulk of Towry’s complaint figures between July 1 and December 31 relate to its takeover of Edward Jones, with 1,301 new complaints received by Towry Edward Jones and 766 received by Towry Investment Management.

Overall Towry received a total of 2,067 complaints over the six month period.

Of the 1,554 closed complaints relating to Edward Jones, 97 per cent were upheld. Of the 667 closed complaints relating to Towry Investment Management, 93 per cent were upheld.

The complaints figures, published by the FSA today, reflect the complaints that have been received by the companies in the first instance. The Financial Ombudsman Service complaints figures published in February reflect the complaints that have been through the company’s internal complaints procedure and which are then referred to FOS.

The FSA figures reveal that Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, which has made a £57m provision for compensation for customers that invested in Keydata products, received 2,301 new complaints in the second half of last year.

N&P upheld 16 per cent of the 2,233 cases closed during the period.

Sesame received 795 new complaints, and upheld 18 per cent of 754 closed complaint cases.

Barclays Bank received the most complaints between July and December last year, with 276,315. The bank closed 279,646 complaints over the same period, with 55 per cent of cases upheld.

Santander’s banking arm received 195,475 new complaints and closed 252,963 complaints, of which 53 per cent were upheld.

Lloyds TSB Bank received 175,892 new complaints and closed 136,908, of which 48 per cent were upheld.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. These figures really do support the FSA’s determination to get rid of all the small, local, honest and competent IFA population (NOT !)

  2. Towry Law are a well respected company, as it indicates on their website, today.

    “Our advisers are required to become professionally qualified to Chartered Financial Planner status, the highest professional qualification in the industry.”

    “We offer fee based, independent financial advice”

    Another victory for the pro examination and fee based supporters?

  3. Kevin Grannersby 30th March 2011 at 10:04 am

    If you’re going to put someone’s picture next to an article, it’s going to help if you tell us who it is!

  4. Andy Fisher has been the most vocal exponent of the RDR proposals. Indeed he wrote to Gordon Brown some years back informing him that the global economic crisis was due to the evils of commission.

    Andy is so evangalistic that he even wants commission removed from protection plans.

    Clearly the Towry route is the way forward – God help the consumer.

  5. Chris Wicks CFP 30th March 2011 at 10:15 am

    Further evidence that, however convenient for the FSA to deal with fewer larger organisations, BIG is not better. Here we have a national IFA, whose CEO is often quoted in the press adopting the moral high ground against other advisers, having a ridiculously large number of complaints against it. Oh and, almost in passing it is mentioned that Barclays had the most complaints. No surprise to any of us, lower mortals who often find ourselves in front of clients who have been at the receiving end of the kind of ‘professional advice’ doled out by these people.
    Mustn’t grumble, I suppose. I am sure the FSA know what they are doing and don’t actually have an agenda….. Its just that when they look at data they seem to come to different conclusions to most of the rest of us.

  6. Well I never, make regulation and cost so great that we lose all the bottom end small but honest IFA’s, this will lead to the FSA, FSCS in gettng more complaints to increase the compensation levy and FSA Fees and then that will help the FSA increase costs and charges again. This then will result in middle size companies then being squeesed out and then your just left with the big boys, well now does the complaints register? I thiss a good thing or not. I leave it you to decide.

    Oh by then its too late the small IFAs are gone and the clients left high and dry.

  7. Fraser Brydon - IFA 30th March 2011 at 10:27 am

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, be careful what you preach as it just may happen….this does nothing to help the cause of the IFA, look out ‘cos the FSA will take what they want from these stats and ram home their own agenda.

  8. New Model “Toady” Law via Mr Andrew Fishy has been very keen on the merits of fees and professional advice. Mr Fishy has been especially keen to point out the misselling propensities of commission and I had expected to find this put this forward in his own practice?

  9. Here is a formula how the FOS can really analyse the data on who are the worst offenders.

    Take the number of complaints from that firm and divide it by the number of RI’s in that firm. That will give you the average number of complaints per adviser over a given period.

    I would suggest that most small IFA firms have no were near the average complaint ratio compared with the banks and major IFA firms.

    Yet it is the assertion of the regulator that the biggest area of risk lies with small IFA’s. The actual figures seem to convey something completely the opposite.

  10. Truly Marvelous ! a shining example of the RDR business model in all its glory.

    12% of his client bank (I think the last time I heard Fisher speak he had about 17000 clients – might be wrong) complained and between 93%-97% had their complaint upheld. What a great comparison with general industry statistics – makes the Banks positively greaming examples in comparison.

    RDR the way forward – couldnt write this could you !!!

  11. John Whitehurst 30th March 2011 at 11:35 am

    Brilliant reporting!
    Towry get the headline news whilst the three banks get a minor mention for almost 650,000 complaints between them and 300,000+ upheld.
    No bias here then……

  12. Given the press coverage over their results the last couple of days, I’m surpirsed few people seem to be picking up on the footnote to the released data:

    “Card Protection Plan Limited … has not been included … because of a discrepancy between the data it has reported to the FSA and the data it has published on its website. We are following this up with the firm. “

  13. This is an absolute disgrace and just goes to show that most of the advice given by this firm is clearly rubbish…and these are just the clients that even bothered to make complaints. As aware as I am concerned they should be shut down and the advisers should be put back on car lots where they belong!

    The FSA are now increasing levies and it is smaller companies that actually care and do a good job that will have to foot the bill.

    It is also shocking how the industry looks on Andrew Fisher like some sort of icon.

  14. Send the claims to me, the bigger the better.

    What would we do without a bunch of regulators who think creating more and more rules and regulations is what regulation is all about???

    Save a fortune? Reduce consumer detriment?

    Er… better not, I enjoy the work.

  15. So, to clarify, the strapline of the IFA community here now isn’t “Grandfathering for all existing IFAs” – it’s “Grandfathering for small (non-national), commission-based IFAs who are honest.”

    Nice to see the “solidarity” thing working out for you.

  16. If a network attracted this number of complaints, particularly with such a high percentage of them being upheld, the FSA would be down on it like a hundred tons of hot bricks. How does TL manage to escape such attention from the regulator? There’s definitely something fishy (no pun intended) going on here.

  17. What most of this debate on this artilce lacks is context and reasons.
    The use of absolute numbers without context and reasons is just lazy journalism. Responding to lazy journalism with lazy and pre-conceived comments is no better.
    Why were there so many complaints, and why were so many upheld?
    In a previous FOS report the level of upheld complaints was quoted as being in the 50% region. So why the escalation? Actually the banks are still at that level, so why is this not improving? But why is Towry Law so bad?
    What were the Towry Law complaints about? Is it a one off event? Or is it generic? Is it purely taking over Edward Jones? In which case why could they not deal with the complaints? There are too many unanswered questions to make any further comment meaningful.
    And that is the core of the problem besetting the financial adviser industry. There is more opinion than there is fact, and the chief culprit, I believe, is the FSA. The industry will not improve based on a rag bag of opinion, There must be solid analysis, and quality discussion.
    Debate in this country is coming down to the I’m right, you’re wrong approach. From that we learn little or nothing.
    Reporting should be about a little more than merely reproducing figures. Most advisers have sufficient work to do without having to read all the regulatory material to find out the truth. We rely on journalists to do the filtering for us. Frankly we rarely get this service.
    There are a lot of angry comments after this article, targeted at the regulators. Why? There is nothing in the article that gives us any indication of why these complaints are happening.
    I don’t dispute the need for anger at the regulators, but I do think that we should know why we are angry. Shouting alone does nothing.

Leave a comment