We often receive enquiries from people who had previously signed up with solicitors, other CMC’s or Investor Action Groups during their search.
Some of these encounters have left the investor even more out of pocket – especially when up-front fees were charged by firms which didn’t even have access to the relevant information in order to assess their case.
Some are still sitting in limbo, waiting for an update from the firms they have signed up with – but by doing nothing and leaving their case unattended they are losing valuable time.
Group Class Action
We have seen investors signing authorities for Action Groups to raise complaints on their behalf – believing in strength in numbers – but unfortunately that is not always the case.
If the person – as well educated as they are – does not follow the correct procedures they could leave you with a complete loss of your pension. In some cases these groups may pursue the investment firms by court – even write to pension providers and other firms to raise complaints – but either don’t follow the process through properly or don’t always pursue the correct firm – the one that is ultimately responsible for your losses.
If you haven’t provided them with a copy of your file they can’t assess your case on its merits. And if they simply send a bulk letter quoting random problems with investment and client’s names attached they may be leaving you hanging high and dry. This can put any claims you need to take to the FOS or FSCS in jeopardy.
Please note that you have only limited time to proceed to the Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) and these people can’t do that without you signing these forms at the time the response was received. So if you haven’t heard from them in more than 3 months don’t forget to ask for updates!
And finally, you may have received messages about claiming from the FSCS. SIPP providers often refer to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in their letters. Harlequin Property has even e-mailed clients explaining that they would be entitled to money from the FSCS.
Many investors obviously are tired of paying out and try to submit a claim themselves. This is usually when people come to us, because their claim has been rejected.
The reason is simple: the clients – not understanding the process – have actually wasted up to six months, and maybe even more, with the FSCS instead of going after the correct firm, which at that point is still trading – losing them valuable time before they present a complaint, which may then be time barred!
We believe you should understand all your options before signing up – as the companies pushing legal claims with upfront fees usually fail to explain that the FSCS will also not pay out any compensation until legal actions have been completed, leaving you open to paying unnecessary annual charges and fees.
If you’re concerned, speak to us first and we will keep you right.