Adviser success as lost pension returned

Then Phoenix backtracked and said it had not sent the funds back but would return them within five to 10 working days.

However, Aviva did not receive the funds until November 6.

A spokesperson for Phoenix confirmed they were now carrying out a full investigation to “establish if we have caused any unnecessary delays when returning the funds to Aviva”.

It said: “We will ensure that the customer has not been financially disadvantaged as a result of our actions, should our investigation show that we have made a mistake. 

“The complaints team will contact the customer under separate cover with the outcome of their investigation. 

“This has been prioritised and we will be in a position to respond shortly.”

Calling in the regulator

Due to there being a significant period where the client was without his money, Mr Pruggmayer wrote to Nikhil Rathi, the new chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, back in October to ask for assistance.

But Mr Pruggmayer criticised the regulator for its lack of input.

He said: “I placed this matter in the hands of the regulators as Phoenix was making no effort to resolve the situation. 

“Sadly it seems the FCA did no better. If the FCA were just 10 per cent as efficient at pursuing matters as they are at chasing us for regulatory fees, my client would be in possession of his money long ago. 

“I am able to say after two weeks the regulatory staff at the FCA it would appear have done nothing.”

FTAdviser understands the FCA was speaking with the firms to help resolve the issue but believed it was for the Financial Ombudsman Service to deal with individual complaints about insurers and advisers.

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