Serious business investor using the calculator on his smartphone

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How we settled a complex and difficult complaint with the help of external expertise

Offering something a little different, this month’s case study involves a large financial organisation that provides premium trading products and services through innovative technology.

The large international company is a trusted market leader in the investment world, with upwards of 250 employees and more than 400,000 satisfied clients.

Unfortunately, one of their clients was less satisfied than most.

The company came to us for help after being directed by an Ombudsman to calculate and pay redress to one of their clients, after a referral to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Mediating with a vexatious investor to demonstrate the firm had been more than fair

Following a FOS Decision, the complainant had to be suitably compensated.

The complaint turned on a small but ultimately significant technicality which created a loss. However, calculating the loss was not a simple task.

As is common in many FOS Decisions, when fault has been established by an Ombudsman, the firm is directed to calculate losses and pay recompense to the investor.

The client was exceptionally belligerent about the original level of compensation that had been calculated. Refusing to accept that the level of redress was fair, he threatened further action, including commencing legal proceedings.

The company engaged us to independently review the redress calculation and establish its compliance – or otherwise – with the Ombudsman’s decision.

Action

We conducted a forensic review of the calculation and also provided an independent review from a suitably qualified actuary.

Highly respected in his field, the actuary we engaged was a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries with more than 25 years’ financial services experience, including actuarial consultancy in both pensions and life insurance.

The actuary had also held senior roles such as scheme actuary to 15 pension funds with combined assets over £200 million and acted as a consulting specialist on pension schemes entering Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) and Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The highly experienced expert was given complete independence to review the methodology of the original calculation made by the company.

Following careful analysis, the actuary reported back that he was “comfortable that the methodology is valid and reasonable, and that the calculator is working correctly” – actuary speak for “everything is fine!”

Outcome

Combined, our forensic review and the independent calculations from the qualified actuary allowed us to present unarguable findings to the FOS and client.

Demonstrating complete compliance, we helped our client head off further legal action.

Key takeaways

Proving that you are offering appropriate levels of compensation can be highly complicated.

Engaging external experts to help you clarify whether you are being fair and reasonable can help diffuse a potentially costly complaint and avoid an argument escalating further.

Knowing when to seek outside help can be invaluable.

We are seasoned experts at handling complaints effectively, but reaching out to an actuarial expert for additional support put us in a far stronger position to defend this particular complaint and defuse a potentially volatile situation.

Get in touch

From evaluation of the complaint to the “final response”, and beyond, we take care of every aspect of the process. Plus, subject to your PI insurance policy, your legal defence costs may be covered.

Find out more about how we could help you resolve a complaint by talking with one of our experts.

Please email mail@jencap.partners, book a short call by completing our online form, or call 029 2000 2325.