Wrong postcode costs adviser £50

Wrong postcode costs adviser £50

Campbell Dallas Financial Services has been told by the Financial Ombudsman Service to pay a client £50 for putting the wrong postcode on a letter.

The client had complained to the ombudsman about a £50 adviser fee she claimed she should not have to pay as she did not receive advice.

After the involvement of the Fos, the client will now have the money returned to her, but as compensation because the ombudsman found on one occasion the intermediary put the wrong postcode on a letter to her, rather than as a refund of the adviser fee.

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Campbell Dallas wrote to the client, referred to as Miss D, in December 2013 to tell her that her adviser was leaving and a new adviser would be in touch.

She closed her portfolio in August 2014 and in October 2014 received a six monthly statement which showed an ‘adviser charge’.

Miss D complained she had not received any advice since her old adviser had left Campbell Dallas and asked for the fee to be refunded.

Initially a Financial Ombudsman Service adjudicator rejected the client’s request for the fee to be refunded.

Fos found the new adviser did try to contact her and Miss D said she “vaguely remembered” receiving a voicemail from him.

The Fos adjudicator said Miss D had the contact details for her new adviser at Campbell Dallas and could have contacted him if she needed advice or help.

But the adjudicator thought Campbell Dallas took too long to reply to Miss D and sent one letter to the wrong address.

The adjudicator recommended the intermediary pay Miss D £50 and this ruling has now been upheld by an ombudsman who reviewed the case after Campbell Dallas disagreed with the adjudicator.

Campbell Dallas pointed out other similar complaints referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service had been rejected.

The intermediary also said its reply to Miss D was sent to the correct address within four weeks of her first letter.

Reviewing the case, Elizabeth Dawes, ombudsman, concluded while Campbell Dallas does not need to refund its adviser fee it should compensate the client for sending a letter to the wrong address.

Ms Dawes said: “It sent her a letter on 6 February, but it used the wrong postcode and Miss D didn’t receive it.

“Our adjudicator brought this to Campbell Dallas’ attention, but it wouldn’t accept the letter was wrongly addressed – even though the postcode is clearly wrong.

“Miss D was inconvenienced by Campbell Dallas’ mistake and, like the adjudicator, I consider it should pay her £50.”