Financial Ombudsman Service 

Hospitalised IFA fights back against ambulance chaser

Hospitalised IFA fights back against ambulance chaser

A financial adviser with a serious heart condition claims he has been hounded by a claims management company over a false payment protection insurance complaint.

Andrew Oliver, a director of Kent-based Andrew Oliver & Co, is facing his first Financial Ombudsman Service complaint in 20 years as an IFA. 

The complaint, brought by a former client via a CMC, relates to an alleged mis-selling of PPI, which Mr Oliver claimed is a product he has never sold.

The claim was made in relation to a single life accident and sickness insurance product that Mr Oliver had sold to the client 11 years ago. This was not a PPI product. 

Shortly after receiving this complaint he ended up in hospital overnight, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and wired up to a heart monitor because his heart was "beating too fast". 

"All this", he said, "came on top of my first complaint through CMC, acting for a now former client complaining about the sale of a PPI policy. But we have never sold PPI."

Mr Oliver said he followed the prescribed regulatory process for dealing with a complaint, went back through the files to prove PPI had not been sold and dismissed the claim for compensation. 

Mr Oliver said: "We then invoiced the CMC £300 for wasting our time. They dismissed the invoice saying that no contract existed between us - despite them having sent a list of instructions to us which we had followed when investigating, so we instigated small claims court proceedings."

However, Mr Oliver has put these proceedings on hold because a couple of weeks ago, he received a letter from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Mr Oliver said: "The former client and the CMC had escalated the complaint. If it were not for the fact the complaint being investigated by Fos is our first, we would have been hit by a £550 charge for this complaint."

Mr Oliver said he doubted the CMC had followed the rule book from the claims management regulator, because the CMC clearly had not "gathered full information about the policy and the circumstances of the sale, nor carried out the due diligence required."

"As much as the actual wrongful sale of PPI was a scandal it is matched by the cowboy approach that I have now witnessed by CMCs who fail to investigate the sale at all, and leave it to the financial adviser and the Fos to sort it out."

It is not known whether the CMC is a member of the Alliance of Claims Companies, but Simon Evans, chief executive of the ACC, commented: “It is vital all CMCs undertake full investigation of cases at all times, as to present spurious claims would ultimately lead to issues for the CMC with the regulator and would almost certainly cause action to be taken against them, which we would agree with."