The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against Curtis Banks from a client who was misinformed about the value of his wife’s self-invested personal pension.
Curtis Banks will pay £750 to the client for the distress and inconvenience as well as providing redress for the error.
The client said Curtis Banks provided an incorrect valuation of his ex-Sipp, which was being valued for a pension sharing order following their divorce.
The complainant and his wife both had Sipps with Curtis Banks. His wife’s account contained a share in a commercial property.
When asked for valuations of the Sipps in November 2014 Curtis Banks said her Sipp was worth £4,076.91. It said that amount was not guaranteed and was subject to fluctuations.
However, the valuation did not take into account annual fees, which amounted to £5,136.25.
The complainant was awarded the entire value of the Sipp, but when he came to transfer the property into his ownership found the account had a negative net asset value of -£1,358.81, which he was now liable for.
The adjudicator ruled that Curtis Bank had acted in maladministration and that the misstatement had caused the client financial detriment.
Curtis Bank said it should have checked for outstanding fees before providing the valuation but did not accept the adjudicator’s decision.
Now the Ombudsman has said the complaint should be upheld and that Curtis Banks should pay £750 for the significant distress and inconvenience caused to the client as a result of misinformation and avoidable delays in providing redress.