AFH told to return fees after inappropriate Sipp switch

Miss C paid AFH 2 per cent of the value of any transferred funds in respect of the advice it gave her, and the work it did to complete the transfers. 

And on an ongoing basis, the DFM service was a little more expensive than the fees Miss C had previously been paying to AFH. 

However the ombudsman acknowledged Miss C was “receiving an enhanced offering and so it might not be unreasonable for the costs to be higher”. 

As the service might have resulted in better investment returns it may have outweighed some of the increased costs, he said.

Despite this Mr Reilly concluded the same investment outcomes could have been achieved if Miss C had stayed with her original Sipp provider.

He said: “It doesn’t seem to me that it would have been likely that the costs Miss C would incur through making that transfer would be offset by significantly higher investment returns. 

“So I haven’t seen anything to persuade me that the advice AFH gave to Miss C in relation to the transfer of her Sipp to the new provider was appropriate or in her best interests.”

In total, Miss C paid AFH £6,226 of which £5,578 related to the funds that were transferred from the existing Sipp.

Therefore, Mr Reilly ordered AFH to refund £5,578 as this part of the advice was not appropriate.

It must also calculate any lost investment return on that sum and pay this into Miss C’s pension.

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