Sued For Prior Advisers Advice.
In a court case last week, the Court has ruled that a financial adviser does not owe a duty to review advice given by a previous adviser unless specifically requested to review the previous advice given.
- In 2000, the client was given advice on the merits of transferring a company pension scheme to another pension scheme. The pension transfer took place.
- In 2008, the client became unhappy with the original adviser and engaged the original adviser to review and manage the investment funds on a retainer.
- In 2009, 2010 and 2013, the client made complaints to the Financial Ombudsman about various matters including suitability of the advice offered by the original adviser – but most of it was ‘time barred’ i.e. out of time.
- In 2013 the client then made a complaint against the second adviser that he/she should have advised on the suitability of the first adviser’s advice. The second adviser had already confirmed that they were not legal trained nor complaints handlers and were not qualified to do so and that they had only been engaged on a retainer to review the investment funds and not the suitability of the original pension/investment advice. The Financial Ombudsman ruled with the adviser and then the client took the matter further (as are your rights) to court.
- In 2017, the Judge has ruled against the client and thrown the case out. At no point did the client engage the adviser to review the suitability of the previous adviser’s pension transfer advice.
You cannot sue an existing adviser on the suitability of a previous adviser’s advice unless you specifically engage them to do exactly that. If any review is to review existing pension/investment contract flexibility, charges, fund performance then that is what it is. It is not a review as to the suitability of any previous adviser’s advice.
If you suspect a previous adviser’s advice was not suitable or there was negligence or mis-selling, you either make formal a complaint yourself or you engage a professional adviser to specifically review the previous adviser’s advice.