In recent years, the pension scandal surrounding Cowley & Miller, an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), has come to light, revealing instances of mis-selling and misleading practices.
This article exposes the details of this scandal, raises awareness of the repercussions faced by clients and the actions taken by regulatory bodies. If you or anyone you know had dealings with these firms, it is essential to understand the implications and explore your options for compensation. Contact CP Financial Claims for assistance.
Uncovering the Misconduct:
The British Steel Pension Fund: One of the focal points of the scandal is the mismanagement of the British Steel pension fund. Clients were exposed to high-risk and unregulated investments, leaving them vulnerable to potential losses.
The Financial Ombudsman Services has classified these investments as Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS), which should only be promoted to experienced or high net worth individuals capable of bearing potential losses.
The regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), urged Cowley & Miller to cease advising on defined benefit or safeguarded benefits transfers in April 2018. Subsequently, the Financial Ombudsman Services ruled in favour of clients in five out of six cases, highlighting the firm's failure to act in their best interests.
Inadequate Pension Switching Advice: Cowley & Miller's misconduct extended beyond the British Steel pension fund. The firm arranged investments into Carbon Credits through the Carbon Advice Group Pl, disregarding the best interests of their clients.
Carbon Credits are volatile and high-risk investments, suitable only for experienced individuals. The firm's failure to provide suitable advice further compounded the consequences faced by their clients.
Regulatory Actions and Failures:
Imposed Restrictions: The FCA imposed a series of restrictions on Cowley & Miller over the past four years as a response to their misconduct. These restrictions aimed to prevent further harm to clients and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
Asset Restriction: In 2021, Cowley & Miller faced an asset restriction, prohibiting the sale of assets without prior written consent from the FCA. This restriction demonstrated the severity of their regulatory breaches and the need for stringent oversight.
Collateral Damage and Industry Involvement:
Tidal Wealth Management and Gillis Financial Services: Tidal Wealth Management, previously trading as an Appointed Representative (AR), and Gillis Financial Services, also an AR, were associated with Cowley & Miller during specific periods. However, none of these firms are currently authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.
County Capital Wealth Management Limited: In the British Steel pension debacle, multiple firms, including Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services Ltd, Curzon Capital Limited, Smith, Law & Shepherds I.F.A Limited, and Tradenext Ltd, were involved.
Many British Steel workers suffered substantial financial losses after acting on advice to transfer their defined benefit pensions to private pensions or Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).
What Should You Do If You Think You Have Been Affected?
If you have been impacted by the Cowley & Miller pension scandal or have concerns about the advice you received from them or related firms, it is crucial to take appropriate action.
Here are some steps to consider:
Document Your Case: Gather all relevant documentation, including pension statements, correspondence, and any other evidence that supports your claim. These records will be essential when making a complaint or pursuing a compensation claim.
Contact a Claims Specialist: Seek professional advice. Consider reaching out to a reputable claims management company, such as us, CP Financial Claims, with expertise in handling pension mis-selling cases. They can provide professional guidance, assess the viability of your claim, and handle the claims process on your behalf.
Understand Compensation Options: Familiarise yourself with the options for seeking compensation. In cases of financial misconduct, the Financial Ombudsman Services or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may be avenues to explore. Your claims specialist can assist you in navigating these options and maximising your chances of receiving compensation.
Act Promptly: Time limitations may apply to filing complaints or compensation claims, so it is essential to act promptly. The sooner you address the issue, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Stay Informed: Stay updated on developments regarding the Cowley & Miller pension scandal through reliable sources such as regulatory announcements, news articles, and industry updates. Knowledge is power, and being informed will empower you to make informed decisions.
Remember, seeking professional advice and guidance is crucial when dealing with pension-related matters. By taking proactive steps and seeking appropriate assistance, you can protect your financial interests and work towards a resolution in the wake of the Cowley & Miller pension scandal.
What Should You Do Next?
The Cowley & Miller pension scandal is a reminder of the importance of trustworthy financial advice and the consequences of misconduct within the industry.
Clients who have been affected by this scandal should seek professional assistance to understand their rights and explore avenues for compensation. If you or anyone you know had dealings with Cowley & Miller or related firms, contact CP Financial Claims via the form below for a free no-obligation chat.