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Possible problem with independant financial adviser and vulnerable pensioner


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Hi,

 

 

My uncle is about to retire from a skilled manual job. He's been in this job for 50 years but his intended retirement date in October has had to be brought forward due to ill health.

 

 

My uncle had a stroke and a heart attack just over a month ago. He's worked all his life has never spent anything other than basics. He hasn't done any repairs on his house (he doesn't even have heating) other than the bare essentials (when my mother moved in for a few months about 7 years ago and made him do it to stop the place falling down). So he's very ill, living in an unheated damp house. (The smell of damp hits you as you walk in, there is no wallpaper and barely plaster in places. The plaster is falling off the walls and there are huge cracks. Persuading him to do anything is difficult.

 

 

Enter the financial adviser. This guy has persuaded him to put one pension into investments. He has another one due and this man is coming over to see him next week. My mother got his name and telephone number and begged him to delay but the man told her that this was urgent. She explained that the situation had changed, that my uncle was sick and undergoing treatment. Representatives from the council told him that the house was uninhabitable and he must move and my mother told this man.

 

 

Last week my mother and I visited my uncle (we live over 400 miles away.) Mum had been there after he got ill. She's managed to get the council and other relatives living nearer to keep an eye on him and do some essential work. A valuer has visited and given him and us an idea of the possible auction value of the house and an idea of what it could be worth if it was done up. He has options but won't make a decision (he has always looked to authority figures to tell him what to do).

 

 

So we explained that he could either sell the house and get somewhere smaller or do it up and hope he gets more. Either way he will have to move. He can't do it up himself he will have to pay someone. Meanwhile he does not have any idea where this man has invested his money, he has no list of investments or outcomes. He has little paperwork at all apart from a glossy folder. I have looked this man up and he doesn't have a website. His business name is different from the name on the glossy folder. Uncle tells us that the man told him it was all rather complicated and he would deal.

 

 

Last week some forms arrived. As we weren't there the adviser's wife came round and collected the forms. We don't know what they were. Of course the adviser won't and can't discuss it with us without my uncle's permission. I get that. Mum has got CAB's pensionwise to try to intervene but my uncle won't deal with them. He trusts this guy. Frankly, I don't but without his permission I seem to hit a brick wall. The red flags are screaming at me;

 

 

 

  • The absence of a list of investments
  • The haste to get this next pension invested
  • The refusal to delay the next meeting
  • The fact that after a lifetime of thrift my uncle has only a small amount in his account (he showed my mother his bank book)
  • The "it's all too complicated for you, I'll deal" that he seems to be saying.

My uncle hates change, he doesn't travel, has never even had a passport. As I said he fixates on authority figures (real or perceived) and is really in a vulnerable situation with his illness. As an example he will get the bus to a big supermarket rather than shop locally as he knows where everything is. I think he will convince himself that he can update this house as selling it would upset him but for that he needs savings that he can access.

 

 

If anyone can advise on anything I can do from a distance bearing in mind he'll not agree to intervention?

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oh yes, forgot to mention one of the investments is a life insurance. My uncle has no dependents. He needs to be spending this money, not saving for a rainy day when it's already pouring.

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Cheers. They're on there but the business name seems to have lapsed while the adviser is still there. Just spoken to my father (just now) and he called the helpline last week and they have no complaints on the adviser. However still very worried that this guy is on commission and rushing my uncle into a scheme or schemes that may not be suitable for his current needs. If that were to be the case I take it my uncle would be able to obtain compensation or get out of any contract?

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I understand your concern. A decent IFA should back off if someone is ill or not ready to decide. Nothing is that urgent, unless it's the IFA wanting to earn their commission.

 

ETA: you might also want to speak to the FCA about the advisor.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Once a pension is taken it is almost impossible to undo the deed and all you can go for is compensation for the misselling by the broker. You say the company's registration has lapsed, this raises big questions about the ability of the salesman to pay any compensation if he make a hash of his advice so steer uncle away from this person as he probably doent have the authority to do what he is doing. A lack of complaints doesnt make it legal or proper.

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My thoughts too, but the problem is acting without my uncle's permission. He is convinced that all is fine. My mother (his sister) is tearing her hair out. I advised her to discuss it with the FCA but that was a bank holiday. I'll chase it again.

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  • 1 month later...

Back to this topic. He appears to have a product called Premium Saver with Vitality Life (looked on their web page but I'm none the wiser). Or rather he did. It ran out in March although when my mother phoned them in front of him they have his cheque. He doesn't have a cheque book or direct debit his financial adviser sends cheques on his behalf. They now have to renew this policy.

 

 

Mum's concerned as from the conversation, it's life insurance. He's single with no dependents. She's also worried about whether the policy will cost more after a break (especially considering his health) and why there's a break when they have a cheque. He phoned the adviser and apologised to him. Not sure why.

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Is this the savings/protection plan, Fuzzgin?

 

I don't really understand why it would benefit your uncle either. He needs to be asking the person who sold it to him, or the company, I would say.

 

http://www.covermagazine.co.uk/cover/news/2149884/pruprotect-unveils-free-premium-saver-option

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Is this the savings/protection plan, Fuzzgin?

 

I don't really understand why it would benefit your uncle either. He needs to be asking the person who sold it to him, or the company, I would say.

 

http://www.covermagazine.co.uk/cover/news/2149884/pruprotect-unveils-free-premium-saver-option

 

HB

The problem is he doesn't want to question anything this financial adviser says.

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