Ombudsman Sees Dramatic Rise In Number Of SIPP Complaints

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The number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about self-invested personal pensions in 2017 is projected to exceed last year’s total.

The FOS’ report – which runs from April to April – shows that between April and September this year the FOS received 1,025 new cases about SIPPs.

In those six months, the Service received 70% of the total complaints received in the whole of the 2016/17 financial year.

However, with just 50% of cases being upheld this year, this is showing a 6% drop in the number of pursued cases from the previous year.

The Financial Ombudsman’s service is free for the general public to use and, when it deems a financial services company is guilty of wrongdoing, it has a £150,000 limit for redress payments.

All financial advisers must have professional indemnity insurance to cover the cost of complaints and legal costs if the matter is taken to court.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has reported soaring numbers of compensation claims relating to Sipp mis-selling.

When it comes to financial complaints in general, the Ombudsman service handled a total of 151,112 enquiries from consumers in the second quarter of this year, with 84,366 new cases accepted.

The product most frequently complained about was payment protection insurance, with 60% of complaints in relation to PPI.

In August this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that from the 29th August 2019, no more PPI claims can be made.

Caroline Wayman, the chief ombudsman, hopes the FCA’s deadline can encourage more people to come forward. She said: “In our plans and budget for 2017/2018, we estimated we’d get 180,000 new complaints about PPI – accounting for 55% of our workload over the course of the financial year.

“Our latest complaints snapshot suggests this was pretty accurate – and shows a significant increase in people contacting us about PPI over the last quarter.

Although a deadline for PPI complaints has been implemented, there is currently no such rule for mis-sold pension complaints.

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