Emma Ann Hughes  

Ambulance chasers are circling so can you remember 1995?

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

As a mother-of-two, sometimes I struggle to remember what I was doing two weekends ago let alone remember what I was doing two decades ago.

The sad implications of a world without a long-stop for financial advisers came home to roost this week when an intermediary was ordered to cough up compensation for advice given back in 1995.

In 1995 BBT recommended that Mr B transfer his pension from Clerical Medical to Scottish Equitable because of the future opportunity to take phased withdrawal or drawdown with the provider.

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But after a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the firm has been told to compensate Mr B because the advice was unsuitable.

The ombudsman stated Mr B was not intending to retire and take benefits for about three years and it was uncertain how he would wish to take benefits or what annuity rates would be at that time. 

The ombudsman decision made me think - how much do you remember about 1995? Back then mobile phones were used only for calls, collectible discs called Pogs were the must-have toy and Windows 95 came out and introduced users to task bars, long file names and the recycle bin — all features we blissfully take for granted today, but these were game changers at the time.

Also back in 1995, Kate Moss and Johnny Depp were young, beautiful and still together, plus Mel Gibson was the darling of Hollywood as his Scottish war drama Braveheart, which he directed, scooped five Academy Awards.

Fast forward to today and Mr Gibson has spent many years as a Hollywood outcast due to racist rants, drink driving charges and death threats against his ex-girlfriend.

Recent headlines about Mr Depp focus on how his lifestyle has taken a toll on his looks.

Is anyone still playing with Pogs, using Windows 95 or just making calls from a brick-like mid-1990s Nokia phone? No, I thought not.

That isn't to say fancying Mr Depp, respecting Mr Gibson, buying Pogs, opting for Windows 95 and getting a cell phone weren't wise moves in 1995 - but it is to point out that some of these choices may seem a little embarrassing when you don't remember what the world was like 23 years ago and have the benefit of hindsight.

I bet many of you struggled to remember these headline and life changing events of 1995, yet because of the lack of a long stop you can be forced to try and drag out a clear, comprehensive record of the events of 23 years ago and have to contextualise your recommendations for an ombudsman who wasn't working in the industry at that time.

If you think cases dating back 23 years are rare, then you need to brace yourself and make sure you have long memories because I truly believe cases like the one FTAdviser reported on will become more common, as the focus of the claims management industry is shifting.