Pensions  

Sipp cases referred to Fos up 73%

Sipp cases referred to Fos up 73%
 

Self-invested personal pension cases referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service were up 73 per cent between October and December, compared to the previous three month period.

According to data, published today (February 23), some 258 Sipp cases were referred to the Fos for a decision in Q3, compared to 149 cases between July and September.

The uphold rate on these cases was 52 per cent, a slight increase on 46 per cent over the previous period.

In total, 369 enquiries were submitted by consumers concerning Sipps to the Ombudsman, and 437 new cases were opened.

In the previous three month period, a significantly larger number of enquiries were submitted - 546 - and a similarly large (527) number of new cases were opened.

Despite this, far less cases were referred to the Fos for a decision during this period, compared to October, November and December.

Cases referred to the Fos for a decision concerning personal pensions were also up, from 122 to 183. The uphold rate for these cases therefore edged from 26 to 28 per cent.

As for investments, cases referred to the Fos for a decision were down for stocks and shares as well as cash Isas, though not by a considerable amount. The former was down by 18 cases referred for a decision, whilst the latter was down three.

Uphold rates for decisions on advisory service cases jumped from 20 to 44 per cent in the last three months of 2021.

This was despite the fact less cases, 16 versus 18, were referred to the Fos for a decision.

Packaged bank accounts - current accounts sold with extra features such as insurance or preferential rates on overdrafts and loans- had the lowest uphold rate of any financial product, at just 4 per cent.

The majority (90 per cent) of the 1,477 new cases opened hinged on the argument that these products were mis-sold. But only 143 cases were referred for a decision from the Fos.

The Fos said this was down to the fact that not using the benefits of a packaged bank account alone “is unlikely to be a sufficient reason” for it to conclude that the account was mis-sold.

Overall, the Fos received 35,324 complaints from consumers between October and December, compared to 40,443 the previous quarter.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com