Unit Trusts and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) - Unable to access funds
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Unit trusts and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) are professionally managed collective investment funds. A fund manager pools money from many investors and buys shares, bonds, property or cash assets and other investments. The Money Advice Service has a useful guide that covers UK-based OEICs and unit trusts.
Reasonable and fair
All financial organisations in the UK are required to treat you fairly, and to ensure that their actions are reasonable. These are the key principles for any financial product, so ask your friends or family member for their opinion on whether you have been treated fairly – this is a good way to determine if you have a reasonable complaint.
Discrimination is unacceptable as part of the reasonable and fair approach; if you have experienced discrimination, you have the right to make a complaint.
Should I use a Claims Management Company?
Claims Management Companies (CMC) will handle a complaint for you in certain areas, such as Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). A CMC will charge you a fee, which is often between 30% and 40%. However, following the complaints process is something that can be done yourself, and it is unlikely that you will get a better result from using a CMC than by going directly to the company yourself.
Raising a complaint
If you have a complaint, first ensure that it is reasonable; if you believe that it is, you can use Resolver to submit your issue. Any complaint from Resolver is an official complaint, and the bank is therefore obliged to act upon it; if it’s not resolved, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In your complaint, ensure that you state your issue clearly and concisely, give information about when the problem happened or began, and say how you would like it to be resolved. The firm may or may not respond back via Resolver, but it does have to respond, as your case will be recognised by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If your issue is not resolved
If you feel that your issue has not been addressed, Resolver will remind you when you can escalate your case to the ombudsman: this is possible after eight weeks or when you receive a final response from the financial organisation.
Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service will independently assess your case. There is no charge to the consumer for the assessment, but you must wait eight weeks before you can take your case to the ombudsman.
The ombudsman will make a decision on your case and provide an outcome that is binding on the company. You can choose whether to accept the decision.
If the decision is held in your favour, and you are awarded financial compensation that relates to miss-selling, you may be awarded interest at 8%. This is not compound interest, so you will not receive interest on the interest.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you could consider switching bank or provider. The final option would be to take the bank to court; you should get expert legal advice before taking this route.
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