Detecting discrepancies with financial products isn’t quite as simple as identifying faults with more conventional goods. Nevertheless, any indication of suspicion that you may have been provided misleading information should be taken seriously.
What is Financial Mis-Selling?
Financial mis-selling occurs when someone is effectively ‘talked into’ buying a financial product they do not want, do not need or do not fully understand. A financial product is considered to have been mis-sold if any of the following apply:
- You were rushed or pressured into making a decision
- You were given inaccurate or misleading advice
- You were not told about the potential risks or downsides
- You were given false promises or assurances
- You were sold a product you clearly and cannot afford
- You were not told about the full fees and charges
What Kinds of Financial Products Are Mis-Sold?
It is technically possible for any financial product to be mis-sold, though most cases of mis-selling involve one of the following products or services:
- Payment protection insurance (PPI)
- Mortgages and endowments
- Investment products
- Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
The private pensions market in particular is rife with mis-selling, accounting for more than a fifth of all claims filed for refunds and compensations. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for financial products as simple as credit cards and personal loans to be sold on the basis of misinformation, entirely for the benefit of the broker or service provider.
What Can I do if I’m Mis-Sold a Product?
If you believe you have been mis-sold a financial product of any kind, it is important to take action at the earliest possible stage. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to reach a fair and amicable resolution.
You will need to have a clear and evidence-based argument for your case – i.e. the precise reason you believe you were misled. After which, the first thing to do is complain to your service provider directly.
Though it is comparatively rare, some service providers will make all necessary concessions to prevent the matter from being taken further. This could mean a complete revision of the terms of your financial product, or the immediate termination of the product and a full refund of all costs incurred.
Unfortunately, it is (much) more likely that your service provider will deny all responsibility and insist that you were provided with all the information needed to make an informed decision. If you are unhappy with the service provider’s response, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), after which they have a time limit of six years to resolve the case.
Independent Third-Party Support
If a much faster and simpler resolution is preferred, you will need to seek independent third-party support.
The good news is that the vast majority of service providers who work in the field of mis-sold financial product refund claims operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. In addition, all initial advice and support will usually be offered free of charge and with no obligation to go ahead.
Once again, the importance of acting early to ensure a swift and amicable outcome cannot be overstated.
Call or e-mail the experts at Hemmings Howe anytime to discuss your case and how to submit your refund application in more detail.