Have I Been Mis-Sold?
How do I know whether I am eligible to claim?
Initially, our claims process is dependent upon your case meeting the following criteria. Accordingly, we would encourage you to speak to one of our dedicated customer care team members if you have any concerns.
- The advice relating to the investment that you were sold must have been given to you on or after 28th August 1988.
- The person who sold you the investment service must have been authorized to provide you with advice by the appropriate regulator at the time of sale.
- Above all, you must have lost money as a result of being sold the financial product in question.
These criteria have been produced by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Regulation Authority and must be adhered to.
2. What is a mis-sold investment?
Mis-sold investments can constitute a wide array of financial products that range from Stocks and Shares ISAs, Bonds and Unit Trusts to other investment-backed saving plans.
The recent economic climate has reduced the return on investments across the board and there will always be an element of risk associated with the stock market; identifying a mis-sold investment is therefore not only contingent on losing money. Investments are considered to have been mis-sold when they are not appropriate to either your personal or financial circumstances.
It is this failing to account for your attitudes and characteristics that generates the opportunity to claim. The Financial Services Authority believes that you wouldn’t have lost that amount of money if your needs had been accounted for; accordingly they have forced the banks to set aside large sums of money to compensate affected customers like yourselves.
3. Why do I need to substantiate that I have lost money as a result of investing?
To put it simply, you can only compensate for a loss. If you have not lost anything in spite of the mis-sold investment, then you have no cause for complaint. Indeed, all investments have a tendency to fluctuate, but the investments that have performed especially poorly as a direct result of their unsuitability should be considered to be ‘mis-sold’ for the purpose of instigating the claims process.
The fact that you have been misled or that your bank was not able to adequately advise you is therefore irrelevant in the Financial Service Authority’s eyes unless you can demonstrate a financial loss.
4. I don’t feel as though my adviser took account of my circumstances during the consultation. Could I claim?
Absolutely – as long as your savings suffered as a result of their advice and you didn’t understand the risks associated with stock market-linked products.
The duties of advisers are wide-ranging and an integral part of the claims process involves identifying how exactly they let you down. Examples of mis-selling include…
• Ignoring your investment aims
• Ignoring your attitude towards risk
• Ignoring you financial circumstances, health and/or age in relation to long-term investments
• Investing all of your savings without leaving you a cash reserve
• Making your savings subject to a single investment scheme and failing to diversify your investments in order to insulate you against excessive risk
Your adviser should have taken all of these factors into account; if any of them were not considered then you may be entitled to claim. In our experience, the attitude to risk is arguably the most important in successfully matching a customer with an appropriate investment. Therefore, if your attitude to risk was ignored or sidelined you may be more likely to successfully claim against your loss.
5. How much compensation can I expect to receive?
It is difficult to estimate the amount of compensation you may be allocated, as each claim is different in respect of the amount of money invested, the extent to which the unsuitable advice negatively affected your savings and the amount of money you have now been left with. In every claim, however, compensation is granted in order to put you in the position that you might have been in if your savings were not subjected to the investment scheme that your adviser mistakenly or falsely recommended.
6. How long does the claims process take?
We pride ourselves on our speedy turnaround service that sets us apart from competitors. This means that on average a successful claim takes x weeks from instruction to completion.
As an estimate this is obviously subject to potential delays from third parties and cannot take into account claims that are especially complex.