Adviser frustrated by Fos response to his case treatment

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Adviser frustrated by Fos response to his case treatment
A complainant had claimed that the adviser had delayed in getting a basic pension transferred (Pexels/The Chaos Painter)

An adviser who complained to a senior manager at the Financial Ombudsman Service over the way in which a complaint against him had been handled was "left reeling" to discover that the manager had simply passed it back to the original investigator to deal with.

Julian Pruggmayer, principal of Financial Risk Management, had expressed serious concerns over the way in which a former client had withheld information from both him and the providers involved in a complaint against him.

However, he said the way in which Fos has since communicated with him, after he raised concerns about the basis on which the original complaint had been upheld, felt "dismissive" and that his "genuine concerns over misinformation" had been "ignored".

Last year, a complainant had claimed that Pruggmayer had delayed in getting a basic pension transferred, and the Fos had initially found in their favour and asked Pruggmayer to pay £200 for distress and to reinstate them £1,800 over potential lost income as a result of the delays.

However, while former police officer Pruggmayer said he was prepared to pay the £200, he realised after reading through the Fos decision that "important information had been withheld" from the Fos by the complainant.

I am disappointed not just that this one was upheld, but also by the way in which my complaint has been handled.Julian Pruggmayer, FRM

Initially he accepted the decision to just draw a line under the issue, but said the "more he thought about it, the more he was unhappy about the way in which the investigator had handled the complaint", given what he said were "clear discrepancies".

He told FTAdviser he had written to a senior manager at Fos, supplying "hard evidence" to suggest that the complaint had been spurious, and that the complainant had "lied to myself and to the Fos, and withheld material evidence".

According to Pruggmayer, had he been aware of the "untruthful statements and information being withheld it would have altered the outcome of my actions".

He said while he would "accept" the complainant keeping the £200 distress money as a gesture of goodwill, he wanted the complaint stripped from his record, given in all of 30 years that he has been an adviser, he has only had two complaints made against him.

However, the senior manager at Fos passed the complaint back over to the original investigator, rather than acknowledging this as a "service complaint".

In the letter to Pruggmayer, seen by FTAdviser, the original case handler said the senior manager had "looked into the issues you've raised but thinks I'm best placed to respond as they relate to the case itself and not the service provided.