Margaret Fitzpatrick from Manchester received £2,300 - Santander
Mrs Fitzpatrick was referred to us by her son-in-law after we were able to help his mother. Mrs Fitzpatrick had a maturing 1 year deposit with Alliance & Leicester and wanted to reinvest her money for a further 12 months. However, rather than act upon her wishes, Mrs Fitzpatrick was referred to a financial adviser who recommended that she invest £24,000 into a Legal & General Distribution Bond for 5 years. This enabled Mrs Fitzpatrick to receive an income every month which would help cover her outgoings so she agreed and signed up straight away.
However, when the 5 year term ended, Mrs Fitzpatrick was horrified to learn that the value of her investment had fallen to just £18,654. She was unaware that the income she received from her investment was not taken from returns made by the investment but was her own money paid back to her. Mrs Fitzpatrick could not afford to lose this money and asked Goodwin Barrett to investigate the matter on her behalf. After reviewing Mrs Fitzpatrick’s case it was clear there were serious issues regarding the suitability of the advice she received.
Mrs Fitzpatrick was aged 76 when she invested and it did not make sense for her to invest for the long term for the first time in her life. It was also unrealistic to expect Mrs Fitzpatrick to understand the nature of the complex investment. In addition the adviser recommended she invest far too much of her money than was sensible at her age. We wrote to Santander, who have responsibility for Alliance & Leicester investments, and they agreed that the advice given to Mrs Fitzpatrick was unsuitable. Santander offered to refund her the difference between the investment value and the withdrawals she made in comparison to the returns she would have received if she had kept her funds on deposit. This totalled £2,341 for a delighted Mrs Fitzpatrick.
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