In Focus: When things go wrong  

FSCS: We can speed claims up in special circumstances


The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is willing to speed up claims that it deems to involve people "above and beyond" general vulnerability, it's chief executive has said.

Missing information such as company names and policy details are the most common mistakes on claim forms, says chief executive Caroline Rainbird.

Rainbird says she has personally intervened in cases where the claimant was terminally ill and needed their financial affairs in order quickly.

Article continues after advert

Claims can take several months, if not years, to settle, with current times for pension claims averaging 10 to 11 months.

In a fireside chat with FTAdviser In Focus, Rainbird says: "Some of the claims that we have are quite complex, they often require us to go out to third parties for valuations, for information, and then we will try and move those forward as quickly as we can. But sometimes we're dependent on the timeline the third party is working to.

"I've intervened in a couple of circumstances where people sadly have been terminally ill and have wanted a conclusion to their financial affairs and the compensation, so we have been able to, sometimes working with the adviser... move quickly in those circumstances."

She added: "We also know all of our customers can be vulnerable one way or another. But if there are specific circumstances that sort of go above and beyond the general vulnerability please let us know and we will see what we can do."

The FSCS is encouraging people to make claims directly with the service via its online claims portal.

While advisers can often help investors bring a claim for free or for a small fee, some commercial claims management companies can charge up to 30 per cent of the claims amount, which can be several thousand pounds.

"We really encourage people to come to us directly via our online claims portal and most people do," Rainbird said.

"People can also come to us via representatives, whether that be a legal firm or a claims management company, but we would encourage people to realise that coming via that route would mean that if their claim is successful and they're paid compensation an element of that compensation will be owed to the representative by way of a fee.

"And that can sometimes be quite a large proportion of the compensation that they will be receiving."

To hear more about how to help investors make a claim, and what the most common mistakes on claims forms are, click on the image above.