Online Share Dealing Decision Reference 2021-0494

Case OutcomePartially upheld
Subject MatterOnline Share Dealing
Date08 December 2021
Conducts Complained OfMaladministration,Delayed or inadequate communication, Failure to provide correct information
Finantial SectorInvestment
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Online Share Dealing
Conduct(s) complained of:
Delayed or inadequate communication
Failure to provide correct information
Partially upheld
A complaint was received by this office in [2018] in relation to an online trading account.
The consumer who made the complaint sadly passed away early in 2021.
In accordance with Section 45(1) of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act
2017, as amended, the complaint was continued by the consumer’s legal personal
representative. In these circumstances, the complaint is being maintained by the estate of
the deceased. I will therefore refer to the estate of the deceased and the deceased
consumer as the Complainant throughout this Decision.
The Complainant opened an online trading account with the Provider, against which this
complaint is made, in May 2017 and deposited £30,000 to the account. The Complainant
also entered into an agreement with a separate company, the Fund Management Company,
to trade on her account. Shortly after opening the account, the Complainant’s funds were
lost through the trades placed by the Fund Management Company. The Complainant
believes the Provider is responsible for the conduct of the Fund Management Company.
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant explains that she contracted with the Fund Management Company that
traded on the Provider’s platform. The Complainant outlines that she spoke with her
account manager within Fund Management Company at length and also met his team: “…
we had a trading connection established through a previous investment firm … I had known
[the Fund Manager] for a full year.”
- 2 -
In May 2017, the Complainant had a four hour meeting with the Fund Manager “… before I
signed the paperwork presented.” The Complainant was signing up to a long term contract
where the Fund Management Company “… would trade the markets, establish themselves
and I would watch/comment and learn their techniques.” The Complainant states that:
“I had previously met with the main players of [the Fund Management Firm] in March
2017 having traded and been learning the trading system …
Their ethics appeared honourable as they ‘left’ the previous company due to an issue
re holding unsecured details of people accounts and investment amounts. [The Fund
Manager] referred to this as a black book.”
The Fund Management Company began trading on the Complainant’s behalf on 5 June 2017
with her investment of £30,000. By 28 June 2018, the balance on the Complainant’s account
had reduced to £134. The Complainant remarks that her money “… was completely lost in
the final week as eight/five trades were put on the same direction of foreign exchange
currency.” It is submitted that such trading was not professional, flagrantly wrong and
lunacy. The Complainant explains that “I was always told, only 6 percent of my money would
ever be ‘at risk’ and they would ‘ride out any storm.’”
On 4 July 2017, the Fund Management Company “… told me my broker/manager, [the Fund
Manager] had gone ‘mental’ and everyone had lost their money.” The Complainant explains:
“… I knew then that the information I was receiving was false.” A conversation also took
place with an individual within the Fund Management Company where the Complainant was
promised that she would get her money back. The Complainant has not managed to speak
with the Fund Manager and his phone number is out of service.
On 7 July 2017, the Complainant learned that her Power of Attorney form contained a
different legal name: “I understood the paperwork had changed when I enquired about the
account. I asked for a copy of this form. It took 3 months to receive this paperwork.
On 29 June 2017, the Complainant sent the alarm to the Provider about the trading activity
on her account, and on 14 July 2017 understood an investigation was taking place. The
Complainant spoke with one of the Provider’s Managers and a Regional Manager. Since
these conversations with the Provider, the Complainant has not heard from the Fund
Management Company:
“Their legal name is not registered with the Companies House, UK. Their London
Office address has proved false and their phone number and email address are not
responded to. The telephone number goes to an exchange which last stated it was
The Complainant states that the Provider has “… proved to be far from useful …” in
addressing her problem. The Complainant was asked to put together all the information
regarding the matter in September 2017 which took a number of days. The Provider’s
response was not communicated to the Complainant, who then learned the Account
Manager overseeing her account had been dismissed.

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