Personal Pension Plan Decision Reference 2022-0096

Case OutcomeSubstantially upheld
Subject MatterPersonal Pension Plan
Reference2022-0096
Date21 March 2022
Finantial SectorInvestment
Conducts Complained OfMis-selling,Complaint handling (Consumer Protection Code) , Delayed or inadequate communication, Dissatisfaction with customer service
Decision Ref:
2022-0096
Sector:
Investment
Product / Service:
Personal Pension Plan
Conduct(s) complained of:
Mis-selling
Delayed or inadequate communication
Complaint handling (Consumer Protection Code)
Dissatisfaction with customer service
Outcome:
Substantially upheld
LEGALLY BINDING DECISION OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN
The Complainant made an investment in 2016, in Company 1, by way of a loan note in the
amount of €70,000.00 (seventy thousand Euro) through her broker, the Provider, against
who this complaint is made.
The Loan Note had a term of 3 years and offered a return of €28,000 (twenty-eight thousand
Euro). This complaint concerns the Complainant’s contention that in 2016, the Provider
failed to provide her with appropriate advice and mis-sold her the investment.
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant says that in July 2016 the Provider called to her home and advised her to
invest in Company 1. The Complainant says that at no time did the Provider make any
enquires as to her attitude to investment risk.
The Complainant says that at that time, she held a Personal Retirement Bond with a third-
party provider in the amount of €70,000.00 (seventy thousand Euro) that had performed
well over its lifetime and was soon to mature.
The Complainant says that based on the advice given by the Provider, she agreed to invest
the entire €70,000.00 value of her Personal Retirement Bond, in Company 1, by way of a
non-regulated, loan note instrument
- 2 -
/Cont’d…
The Complainant says that the first correspondence she received from the Provider
regarding the performance of her investment was his letter of 19 February 2019 in which
he advised, among other things, that:
“… You are aware that [Company 1] is not performing and your investment is not in
a healthy financial state. It is with huge regret that I have to for the record finally put
this in writing to you.
You took this investment out hoping to get a return after 3 or 4 years and this is not
the case.
I have over the last 18 months spend (sic) a huge amount of time trying to liaise with
[Company 1] through emails, phone calls and meetings. I thought there would be a
solution to the problem the company was having but clearly it now appears to me
that this is not the case and as you are the investor, I regret I must inform you of this.
I have been promised solutions after solutions, but to no avail …
I have to be totally honest with you at this stage and say [the Provider] can do no
more …”
The Complainant sets out her complaint in the Complaint Form she completed, as follows:
“I was never risk assessed by [the Provider] for this or any other product.
I had my pension fund in a Personal Retirement Bond with [a third-party provider]
prior to this, this bond was about to mature and it had done very well over the bond’s
lifetime. [The Provider] was, as my broker aware of this and came to my home with
the sole intention of getting me to sign up to the investment in [Company 1]. I was
never offered any other investment and [the Provider] advised that I place 100%
(€70,000.00) of my pension into this investment. I had accumulated this amount over
the past 19 years of contributions and at the age of 48 at the time would this not
have been a risky choice of direction for my entire pension fund?
[The Provider] also tried to get a further €35,000.00 investment from some of
husband’s pension plan.
[The Provider] sold this investment as being 100% Guaranteed with a 40% return over
a three year period with interest payments being made annually throughout the
period of investment; these payments were to be ring fenced until the end of the
three year period when the investment would mature, none of this happened. I even
got my husband to clarify this with [the Provider] after the meeting in my home, he
confirmed that all of the above would happen.
Throughout the investment I haven’t received any correspondence from [the
Provider], [B.] Trustees Ltd or [[Named] Trustee Company Ltd]; [which was] involved
in overseeing that the fund was performing as promised so that they could release
further funds to the Indian investment and to ensure that things were covered by
strict rules governing pension fund monies.

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