Shares/Equities Investment Decision Reference 2022-0178

Case OutcomeSubstantially upheld
Subject MatterShares/Equities Investment
Date30 May 2022
Finantial SectorInvestment
Conducts Complained OfFees & charges applied ,Alleged poor management of fund, Failure to process instructions in a timely manner, Maladministration
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Shares/Equities Investment
Conduct(s) complained of:
Fees & charges applied
Failure to process instructions in a timely manner
Alleged poor management of fund
Substantially upheld
This complaint concerns investment funds.
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant has investments spread across five separate investment funds with the
Provider. The Complainant asserts that before setting up these funds, he was assured by the
Provider that the fees would be “modest” and that at most, an annual deduction of 1.5%
would be spread over the portfolios.
The Complainant states that he was shocked by charges and fees deducted from the
account, particularly for 2018 when the sum of €4,741.00 (four thousand seven hundred
and forty-one Euro) was deducted.
The Complainant states that he made several requests over a period of four months to
obtain an itemised statement and requested that the Provider “justify each charge” and
states that he has not “received any breakdown of charges since 2016”. The Complainant
states that the information he then received from the Provider was “fraught with errors”
The Complainant further states that he received a letter from the Provider in September
2020 setting out that his investment gives rise to tax obligations which the Provid er cannot
and does not discharge on his behalf. The Complainant says he presumes “they mean DIRT
tax” when it refers to tax obligations, and he states that the Provider has “never provided
any DIRT tax receipts”.
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The Provider’s Case
The Provider states that all fees and charges applied to the Complainant’s investments were
in accordance with the terms and conditions accepted by the Complainant. The Provider
states that all of the fees and charges were outlined in the ‘Product Fact Sheet’ and the ‘Key
Investor Information Document’ (KIID). The Provider states that these fees are “not set in
stone” and that while some fees such as the ‘management fee’ “is always known and the
maximum this can be is set out’ in those documents, others like ‘transaction charges’
“cannot be known in advance as they will change depending on how much the funds trade
in a given year”.
The Provider states that the fees and charges were verbally explained to the Complainant in
May 2016 and that had “any concession been considered, which would be highly unusual,
this would have been clearly noted on the Complainant’s account as ongoing manual
intervention would be required for the application of fees in this respect.” The Provider
denies that it was ever agreed that the charges would amount to 1.5%.
The Provider states that the signed declarations completed by the Complainant in May 2016
and May 2017 are evidence that the Complainant was aware of and understood the fees
and charges which applied to each fund.
The Provider states that the Terms and Conditions, KIIDs, and Fund Fact sheets for each fund
demonstrate compliance with Provision 4.54 of the Consumer Protection Code 2012 (CPC)
and that the Investment Reports provided to the Complainant detail all the information
required under Provision 6.16 CPC.
In relation to delay in providing information, the Provider states that it received a request in
June 2020 from the Complainant for copies of transactional statements, during a visit by the
Complainant to a local branch. The Provider acknowledges that there was a delay in
providing these, as it had moved its investment products to a new system and accessing
transactional statements from before Q3 2019 was more difficult. The Provider states that
this was explained to the Complainant on 13 July 2020 and that the statements were then
supplied on 5 August 2020. It says that these were copies of documents which had been
sent to the Complainant, at their original time of issue.
The Provider acknowledges that it took longer than normal to provide the above copy
documents, but it states that it is satisfied overall with the level of customer service provided
to the Complainant. The Provider states that no issues of service were raised by the
Complainant during his attendances at the local branch, over the years, since he began

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