Bonds Decision Reference 2023-0017

Case OutcomeRejected
Subject MatterBonds
Date27 January 2023
Finantial SectorInvestment
Conducts Complained OfMaladministration,Alleged poor management of fund, Documents mislaid or lost, Failure to process instructions, Fees & charges applied , Misrepresentation (at point of sale or after), Switching funds
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Conduct(s) complained of:
Documents mislaid or lost
Fees & charges applied
Failure to process instructions
Misrepresentation (at point of sale or after)
Alleged poor management of fund
Switching funds
This complaint concerns an investment fund, which formed part of the Complainant’s
savings plan.
The Complainant’s Case
The first issue of complaint relates to the deduction of Deposit Interest Retention Tax
The Complainant submits that when his policy matured in 2016, the Provider informed him
that he was exempt from paying Deposit Interest Retention Tax (“DIRT”). The Complainant
further submits that he was required to complete a non-resident declaration form” and a
proof of resident” form, which he furnished to the Provider, at one of its branches. The
Complainant advises that he followed up with the Provider, on a telephone call, and that it
confirmed receipt of the forms and that “all was in order”.
The Complainant contends that he contacted the Provider by telephone, a couple of months
later and that he was informed that the “non-resident declaration” form was not received
and that, as a consequence, €6,000.00 in DIRT was deducted from his fund.
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The Complainant does not accept that the way the Provider dealt with this was correct.
The second aspect of the Complainant’s complaint relates to the advice said to have been
given to him by the Provider at the time when he switched funds in his investment, and
subsequent to that switch.
The Complainant submits that he contacted the Provider by telephone “a number of times”
to “switch funds” due to the fund’s management fees and that he eventually met with one
of its representatives, who switched his fund to a “roll over fund”. The Complainant asserts
that initially, he was “apprehensive about this” however, he contends that the Provider
made assurances” to him that the fund was low risk” and that he “would not lose or gain
a great deal”.
The Complainant submits that he contacted the Provider “a month or so later” and realised
that the switch had not taken place and that €800.00 of management fees had been
deducted from his fund. The Complainant further submits that after contacting the Provider,
it agreed to switch the fund and to refund him €800.00.
The Complainant advises that after “a month or so passed” he noticed that the fund
depreciated by €2,500.00” and that when he contacted the Provider by telephone, the
Complainant contends that the Provider made “assurances to stick with the fund”. The
Complainant asserts that this continued over the years and that on “all occasions” the
Provider assured the Complainant to “stay in the fund”.
The Complainant states that “finally, after the fund dropped to a €3,000.00 deficit, from the
original sum” that was invested, he decided to exit the fund as it was “causing him too much
stress and worry” as the fund was “clearly not performing”.
The Provider’s Case
In its Final Response Letter dated 29 October 2019, the Provider refers the Complainant to
the “Plan of Action” that it issued to the Complainant at the time of the fund switch. This
document set out the risks associated with the fund and the Provider asserts that this was
explained to the Complainant before the fund switch took place.
The Provider further notes that its Attitude of Risk Declaration” was signed by the
Complainant “in consent and agreement” of the associated risks of this investment. The
Provider contends that it is the Complainant’s responsibility to monitor the performance of
his investment.
The Provider asserts that the Complainant did not attend a meeting that was arranged after
the Complainant expressed his dissatisfaction, in his letter to the Provider dated 31 May
2017. The Provider further contends that when it attempted to contact the Complainant, by
telephone, it did not get a response.

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