In a complaint filed with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in 2008, a client identified as Mrs M said she had transferred her UK pension with a value of £73,823 ($91,874, €86,951) into a recognised overseas pension scheme (Rops) on the advice of a business based in Cyprus.
She contacted deVere in 2012, after she returned to the UK, at which time the value of her Rops had fallen to £48,050.
The FOS informed Mrs M that it could not look into her complaint against the Cyprus-based business and could only investigate her complaint about deVere.
An April 2012 report by deVere said that Mrs M was reluctant to sell her main investment, which was in RBS shares, as they had already lost more than a third of their value.
Mrs M received no advice from deVere until a review was undertaken in 2014, at which point it was determined that:
- She was married, 52, and in good health;
- Planning to retire at 65;
- Employed and earning about £15,500 per annum with sayings of £1,000; and
- Had no other pension plans.
Her attitude to risk questionnaire recorded Mrs M as having a cautious to moderate attitude. Her investment goals were to get the Rops into the UK, reduce the charges, and improve the investment returns.
The portfolio report from October 2014 recommended switching from the RBS Dynamic Asset Allocator, a five-year capital protected structured note, to the following funds:
- 20% cash,
- 30% Vanguard LifeStrategy 20,
- 20% Aberdeen Multi Manager cautious managed fund,
- 15% Vanguard LifeStrategy 40, and
- 15% JPM Multi Asset income.
She was advised to keep her existing investment in the RBS GBP managed fund.
Mrs M went ahead with the recommendations.
By 20 January 2015, the value of her investments had increased to £49,937. A year later, the fund value had fallen to £47,586, at which point she told deVere that she no longer wanted them to look after her pension.
DeVere’s positon is that the advice given to Mrs M was in line with her attitude to risk and they tried to help her transfer away from the Rops when there were problems with the indemnity form in regards to the transfer with the trustees of the Rops.