SIPP provider to compensate over unexpected charges

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has determined that TenetConnect must compensate a client who was not informed of charges on investments in her self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

As reported by Money Marketing, the complaint centres on the financial advisor LEBC, which was an appointed representative of Tenet until August 2017. According to the complainant, known as Mrs H, LEBC failed to inform her about charges that would apply to investments made in her SIPP.

Mrs H first raised a complaint in respect of the advice she received in February 2016. In March of that year, Mrs H’s adviser contacted the provider about these charges and a response received on 24th March 2016 explained the charges and the charging period for the investments.

In May, Tenet offered to refund £972 of charges to Mrs H on the basis that it could not find evidence that she was given the correct charging structure. Mrs H rejected the offer, on the basis that it failed to take account that she had been charged annually. As a result, she requested an additional year’s charges.

Tenet agreed to this in June 2016, offering a settlement of £1,457, which was accepted by Mrs H. She was also offered a free financial review. Mrs H contacted her adviser regarding this free review in December 2016. During this review process, she was informed that she would incur a further annual charge, as well as charges for moving her money.

Mrs H contacted Tenet in February 2017, arguing that these charges should be refunded. Tenet responded, saying that in their opinion, Mrs H was now fully informed of the charge.

Mrs H contacted FOS in May 2017, whose initial adjudicator refused to look into the complaint as it was not brought within 6 months of the date of the final response letter. However, ombudsman Melissa Grove didn’t agree with this decision and ruled in favour of Mrs H.

She determined that Tenet should fulfil the initial offer and pay the additional annual charge and transaction fees incurred. As a result, Tenet will pay MRS H an additional £485, plus 8 per cent interest from the date on which the fee was paid, as well as refund the additional £60 fee she will incur from withdrawing funds from her investment.

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