Couple win fight against wealth firm over £200k fund transfers

Added 7th August 2017

The UK's Financial Ombudsman Service has upheld a complaint about the unsuitable transfer of investments worth around £200,000 ($260,869, €221,431) made against Attivo Financial Services.

Couple win fight against wealth firm over £200k fund transfers

The case involved a couple, known only as Mr and Mrs J, who had filed separate complaints against Attivo concering three investment transfers that were provisionally upheld by the Ombudsman in June this year.

The couple's personal wealth in 2013 was around £2m, comprising “significant investments and cash reserves”, according to FOS documents. They claimed Attivo made transfers without their consent after they had signed incomplete forms in good faith.

When they discovered the transfers in 2014, the couple complained they had not approved them and felt the new funds were riskier and would not protect their capital.

Attivo, which sold its investment management arm to Quilter Cheviot in January, said both Mr and Mrs J had known about the transfers and argued they were suitable for the couple.

It added redress would be “excessive and disproportionate” as it didn’t reflect the 10-year terms of the new funds, which were longer than the original funds held.

Regardless of whether the couple approved the transfer or not, the Ombudsman judged the new investments were unsuitable for Mr and Mrs J.

Standing by a statement in the provisional decision on both complaints, the FOS said the dispute over what was or was not consented to was not “necessary to address”.

“Attivo says it transferred the three funds because it considered the transfers suitable for Mr [and Mrs] J and it is my conclusion that the transfers were not suitable for [them],” it said.

Attivo was ordered to pay compensation to both Mr and Mrs J for any capital losses when the funds were sold in 2013, plus any early surrender penalties incurred and charges incurred during the initial transfers.

The couple will also be compensated for the income they would have received from the original funds between 2013 and the date the new funds were sold.  

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Change of heart

I wonder why the Ombudsman originally upheld that the transfer was ok in June and then changed their mind in August? Very strange.

Posted by: russell stagg, 08 Aug 2017

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Louise Hill

Senior Reporter

Louise joined Portfolio Adviser in December 2016 as one of the editorial team’s news reporters based in London. Originally from Liverpool, she is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and began her career in 2014 working on local newspapers.

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