You will always be encouraged to seek to engage with the annuity provider or financial advisor to reach an amicable resolution.
What if this approach doesn’t work?
If this approach does not work then there are two options available. The first is to issue a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman. The alternative is to issue proceedings in the Courts.
Both cases require pre-action correspondence to be issued by you as the potential Complainant/Claimant.
Whilst the letters are straightforward, a considerable amount of detail is required, especially if the intention is to proceed to Court proceedings. Specialist solicitors are well-versed in preparing pre-action correspondence. The fact that the letter in question will be put together by a professional and sent on the professional’s headed paper will carry some weight with the recipient. It may be the case that large institutions, such as pension providers, or insurers for financial advisors do not take complaints from the general public as seriously as they should. It is however very unusual that a solicitor’s letter remains unanswered.
Engaging with the other side by written correspondence is the first step to seeking to reach an amicable resolution.
I have done this but have still not received a resolution
If such a resolution cannot be reached then a solicitor will advise whether your dispute should be referred to the Ombudsman or to the Court. Whilst you, as a private individual, have the right to issue a complaint to the Ombudsman or issue proceedings in the Courts, you will almost always be better served by engaging a professional to assist in drawing up the documentation.
In particular your claim should be based on a breach of a duty owed to you by the provider or the financial advisor. Whilst there are claims management companies who can advise, where the issues in question are legal issues we would always advise that you take legal advice from a qualified solicitor. Furthermore, solicitors have the rights with respect to issuing Court proceedings. Many claims management companies will manage a complaint to the Ombudsman but are not able, or are willing to issue Court proceedings.
By seeking legal advice you will have the advantage of being advised as to which process is more suited to your dispute and will also give clear advice as to the merits, and indeed pitfalls, of your particular claim.
Furthermore, many claims management companies will take a fee based on a percentage of monies recovered. Solicitors practices are governed by the Law Society with respect to how they can charge fees. We recommend BT3, which is a trading name of Blake-Turner & Co Solicitors. BT3 specialises in claims of this nature.
Solicitors work on a range of fees and can be flexible with respect to how fees are charged.