Financial Services Compensation Scheme  

Fos complaints in limbo as advice firm stops trading

Fos complaints in limbo as advice firm stops trading

A financial advice firm has shut up shop after facing 13 complaints through the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Since Assured Review IFA Ltd has ceased trading, the Fos has been directing complainants towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

One complaint about the firm was upheld by an adjudicator but has been left in limbo after it ceased trading.

Adviser Kim Barrett lodged the complaint against the Cheshire-based company after one of its former clients asked him for help.

The company approached the client through a cold call, the adjudicator said.

Assured Review IFA recommended that the man transfer more than £70,000 of his pension into a self-invested personal pension.

The adjudicator said he had “very serious concerns” about the suitability of the advice the man received.

He said: “Mr Barrett has provided evidence to show that the Sipp that [the client] transferred his pension to is made up of investments that would be considered to be high risk.

“Mr Barrett said that he believes [the client] has lost nearly 18 per cent of the value of his pension over the previous eight months.

“The Financial Ombudsman Service has tried to involve Assured Review in coming to a better understanding of the situation. However no response to our requests for further information and the business’s perspective have been received.”

More than a month after reaching this decision the Fos wrote to Mr Barrett to say the company had ceased trading, meaning it would no longer be able to deal with the complaint and it directed Mr Barrett in the direction of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

According to the Fos there have been 13 complaints against Assured Review since the beginning of the year.

But the firm has not yet been declared in default by the FSCS.

According to the Financial Services Register Assured Review has applied to cancel its permissions.

The register also said the director of Poynton-based Assured Review, Guy Anthony Wheeler Crebbin, worked at BlueInfinitas in 2014.

Last month FTAdviser revealed BlueInfinitas, which was declared in default last year, has prompted 400 claims to the FSCS with £1m paid out on just 52 of them.

The phone number and email address provided on the register no longer work and the firm’s entry on Companies House gives its accountants’ address.

A spokesman for the firm’s accountants said it had been “a good few months” since they had been able to make contact with the company.