Pre contract information – Pension and Investment claims

 

 

Pre-Contract Information

  1. About us

Allegiant Finance Services Limited is a Claims Management Company registered in England & Wales registration number 07474972. Our contact details are as follows:

Post: Allegiant Finance Services, 400 Chadwick House, Birchwood Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA3 6AE.

Telephone: 0345 544 1563

Email: helpdesk@allegiant-finance.co.uk

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number: 836810.

  1. What does our Pension and Investment Mis-selling claims service entail?

We provide a service which is designed to reclaim losses associated with mis-sold pensions, investments and SIPP’s.  We do this by assessing your circumstances and pension, investment and/or SIPP paperwork and ensuring that the pension, investment or SIPP firm acted in a reasonable manner and compliant with regulation.

  1. Weighing up the Pros and Cons of making a claim

Benefits of making a claim:

  • You may recover compensation from your Pension, Investment or SIPP.
  • You may feel vindication where successful against the Pension, Investment or SIPP.

Risks of making a claim:

  • Your claim may not be successful resulting in wasted time pursuing the claim.
  • You may feel uncomfortable sharing or discussing financial information (however, our employees are familiar with pension and investments – you’re in good hands).
  • It is possible that our fee may become payable before you have access to your pension or investment which may result in you having to pay our fee from your own funds. In this scenario, we will agree staged payments with you.
  1. Our fees

Our charge is 18% inclusive of Gross Compensation. “Gross Compensation” means the amount awarded to you whether this is paid directly to you or paid into an investment or pension, and prior to any deduction of any income tax due to HMRC on your award. Please refer to the definition of “Gross Compensation” and Section 5 of our Terms of Engagement for further information including a table showing how our fees work in different scenarios.

Examples (these are not estimates of how much you will receive they are examples of how the fee system works)

  • Compensation is £1,000, the fee is £144 plus VAT £36. This means the amount payable to us is £180 leaving you with a balance of £820.
  •  Compensation is £3,000, the fee is £432 plus VAT £108. This means the amount payable to us is £540 leaving you with a balance of £2,460.
  • Compensation is £10,000, the fee is £1,440 plus VAT £360. This means that the amount payable to us is £1,800 leaving you with a balance of £8,200.

Please note that if you have been subject to or become subject to bankruptcy, a debt relief order, an IVA, sequestration or a similar arrangement, the compensation / redress might be offset but you will remain liable for our full-Service Fee. If you are a discharged bankrupt, it is possible that your creditors remain entitled to any future compensation you receive. Please contact your Insolvency Practitioner if you are in doubt.

Where payment of compensation is made directly to you by the Pensions, Investment or SIPP our payment terms require you to settle our invoice without undue delay after receiving your compensation. We accept payment by debit and credit card and also by bank transfer. It is your obligation to ensure that funds are available to meet our invoice. See further the Terms of Engagement contained in this pack.

  1. Taxation on compensation awards

Compensation refunded for Pension, Investment or SIPP mis-selling is not taxable, but the 8% statutory interest awarded on top attracts “income tax” which must be paid to HMRC. Some firms will deduct this from your compensation payment and pay it directly on your behalf to HMRC. Please note our Success Fee is based on Gross Compensation (i.e., the pre-tax sum you are awarded ). We are not tax advisors and are unable to provide advice on tax.

  1. The Claims Process

Phase 1: After an initial consultation, you will be asked to read our Pre-Contract Information and sign our Terms of Engagement. After you return your signed Terms of Engagement, we will request any paperwork you have (or obtain this from the pension, investment or SIPP firm). We will also conduct a more detailed review of the circumstances around your claim.

Phase 2: We will complete our assessment of the collated information and consider whether your claim is one that (i) meets our criteria (ii) is one we consider to have merit. We will assess relevant information and make a written complaint to your pension, investment or SIPP provider based on your circumstances, where appropriate.

Phase 3: We consider the response from your Pension, Investment or SIPP provider and discuss your options.

Phase 4: If your claim does not settle at Phase 3, where there is appropriate merit, we will refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman will appoint an adjudicator to make a settlement recommendation. If this is not acceptable to either party, the matter can be escalated to an Ombudsman for a legally binding decision.

Claims against failed firms will be referred to Financial Services Compensation Scheme who will review the claim to see if eligible for compensation under their rules and, where appropriate, to compensate your losses.

  1. Timescales

It is very difficult for us to place a timescale on the claims process. Much will depend upon whether your pension, investment or SIPP firm agrees to your claim, or whether they defend it. If your pension, investment or SIPP agrees to your claim following the submission of our Letter of Complaint, we would expect for a compensation offer to be received within approximately 8 to 12 weeks if they do not require information from a third party. However, due to the complexity of the loss calculation, payment of compensation can usually take a further 6 months once a decision has been reached.

If the claim needs to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, this may add 6 to 24 months to the claim (depending on the Financial Ombudsman Services’ capacity and what arguments the pension, Investment or SIPP has made in defence). In cases where there is severe and immediate hardship, the Ombudsman may be able to fast track your claim. If this applies to you, please tell us.

Claims against failed firms with Financial Service Compensation Scheme normally take 6 to 10 months to conclude.

Please note we can never guarantee timescales to resolution as much of the process depends on third party co-operation. Using a claims management company such as ourselves does not mean that your claim will be any quicker than if you complain to your pension, investment or SIPP yourself. We will however use our best efforts to advance your claim promptly.

  1. Documentation needed to pursue the claim
  2. Paperwork we will ask you to provide to use our service:
    • Signed Terms of Engagement (always required)
    • Signed “Complaints Bundle” (always required)

–      Signed Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Compensation Services Scheme documentation

 

  1. Documents we may ask you to provide some or all of the following information if it is available to you:
    • Welcome letters, Recommendation Letters, Annual Reports or other correspondence from the pension, investment or SIPP firm, or related third party.
    • Any proof of payment, bank transfer, cheque stub etc; into the pension, investment or SIPP.
    • Any suitability documentation or advisory documentation provided by the pension, investment or SIPP firm
    • E-mails from the pension, investment or SIPP firm or from any related third party
    • Paperwork from the former Pension, Investment or SIPP arrangement including member benefit statements, proof of transfer etc
    • Any relevant documentation you may wish to provide to us to demonstrate a mis-selling issue.

 

  1. Shortfall in losses

 

Our role is limited to a claim against either the advisor or SIPP operative but not both. You will not be instructing us to review, consider or advise upon, causes of action and/or matters which may be relevant to you in relation to claims against the other party. We have no duty of care for claims outside our instruction.

  1. Limitation

 

“Limitation” is a legal phrase which relates to time limits for bringing claims. Different time limits apply for different types of claims. In the case of financial mis-selling claims the limitation dates are: –

  • 6 years from the date the contract commenced but this date can be extended by 3 years from date of knowledge if you didn’t become aware of the thing you are complaining about until a later date. However, there is a long stop date of 15 years after which time a claim cannot be made through the courts.
  • Additionally, you have 6 months from the date of a final response letter to register the claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or you could lose the right to have the claim considered by them. FOS does not currently operate the 15 year long stop.

 

Please be aware that pursuing a claim with ourselves via FOS or FSCS does not “stop the clock” for the purposes of limitation in the court system. We do not pursue claims via court. Should you be considering legal action via the courts or be concerned by the limitation position – we strongly advise that you seek independent legal advice now.

 

  1. Prospects of success

 

Claim success is not guaranteed in any way.  You may win or lose. Your chances of compensation will depend upon the inherent merit of your claim and level of co-operation you provide.  We do not claim to increase your chances of obtaining compensation. Agreement by us to pursue a claim for you does not guarantee success.

  1. What we do not do

 

We are not solicitors and are not able to pursue your claims through the court system and would recommend that you seek advice from a solicitor if this is an option you wish to pursue. We are not tax, debt or financial advisors and are unable to provide tax, debt or financial advice.

  1. Pursuing the claim yourself / other methods of complaining / right to shop around

You do not need to use a claims management company to lodge a complaint against your pension, investment or SIPP provider and if your complaint is not successful you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service or (in the case of a failed firm) the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, for free.

If you do want representation for a Financial Ombudsman or Financial Services Compensation Scheme claim, we are well placed to assist. We will investigate your claim and represent you against your pension, investment or SIPP firm. You have a right to shop around before deciding on which claims management company to engage, where you wish to appoint one.

Alternatively, you could engage a solicitor who may refer the claim to a court (legal action) which is something we don’t do. Alternatively, like us, a solicitor may refer the claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service (the ombudsman route) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (failed firm route). If you wish to instruct a solicitor, you should check whether an insurance policy (for instance a household insurance policy or packaged bank account) provides cover for solicitor costs.

  1. Third parties / co-products

Our in-house claims team will handle your claim. We will not outsource it without advising you. You do not need to take out any financial products such as insurance to use our service. From time to time we may discuss your case with external consultants for secondary advice.

  1. Contracts you must agree to when using our service and your cooling off rights

You must agree to and sign our Terms of Engagement. After signing the Terms of Engagement, you have the right to cancel within 14 days. After 14 days, our Success Fee applies if your claim is successful.