When you undertake an investment, you hope that it is going to give you a good return. Most of us try to do our own due diligence and make sure what we are getting involved in is right for our needs. If you have been mis-sold an investment, however, you may be able to claim back the money you have put in and get compensation.
This doesn’t just mean if the investment has performed poorly – if the policy or scheme was sold and you were made aware of the potential risks, then you probably won’t have much cause for complaint. The financial regulation concerning investments such as ISAs or stocks and shares says that mis-selling has occurred when the scheme you have been given was misrepresented in some way or was unsuitable for your needs.
Explaining the Risks
You should ask yourself if your advisor explained all the risks to you properly. If you were unaware, for example, that you were likely to lose money because of investing in certain stocks and shares, then you may have a case for filing a claim. This might include the advisor telling you that you were guaranteed of making a profit, something which is rarely the case with any investment. There are always risks involved. Other companies have told customers that 100% of their money will be returned at least, which again is not always the case.
The Terms of the Investment
You may have been mis-sold an investment if the advisor didn’t explain how the product worked fully enough. That can include what charges the investment company make and how long the term is that you need to get a potentially good return. They may have misled you into believing you could access your money any time you want, when the opposite proved to be true. Another issue is that your money could well have been used for high risk investments without your consent.
Did Your Advisor Find Out About You?
Your investment company has a duty to find out if a particular investment is right for you. That means getting to know why you want to invest and what you want the outcome to be. You might want to build up some extra capital for your retirement, create a pot of money so your kids can go to a good school or something else in your future.
Your advisor should ask key questions about your current investments and what your views are if the chosen product proves to be unprofitable. They need to get to know you rather than merely selling you a set product.
Pressure selling can take many forms and can lead you to make an investment without considering all the potential risks. You might be told that you are guaranteed to make money or the advisor may be fixated on one product without offering any other options. They could have convinced you to move money from an existing investment to another with the promise of a better return that was unfounded. Some unscrupulous advisors may even push time-limited offers in order to get you to sign up.
It’s not just investment companies that have been guilty of mis-selling investments over the years. Banks and building societies have also been guilty of pressuring their staff into selling certain products that are not necessarily right for the individual. If you think you may have been mis-sold an investment, then it may be time to get your paperwork together and take a good hard look at what you have been sold.
PPI was mis-sold regularly by Banks and other lenders and you may be able to claim back the fees plus interest for FREE using our Mis-Sold PPI Form Download.
PPI was the 'optional' Payment Protection Insurance that was added to personal loans that you may have taken out in the past. The idea was that you would be able to claim later on this should you come into payment difficulties due to illness or losing your job. However, many people were not given a choice on this, or just would not be eligible.
There are over 20 million PPI policies in existence. You need to check if you had one.
1. Firstly, you can check if you ever had PPI by looking at your paperwork or even simply asking your bank.
2. Are you likely to be eligible? You might be if any of these happened:
a) You were told that the PPI addition was compulsory
b) You didn't realise you even had the PPI cover
c) You were sold a wrong fitting policy?
d) You were self-employed, unemployed or retired?
e) You already had an underlying medical condition
3. Download THIS FORM and send it in to the lender, filled out.
It’s that time of year when we go over the top in more ways than one. Everyone wants to have a fabulous Christmas but how many of us end up paying for it afterwards?
Here are our top tips for keeping the costs down and saving money when you do your Christmas shop this year.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget for Christmas starts with being realistic. You may want to have new lights and baubles, even a new tree. You may want a Christmas table filled with trimmings and all the wine you can drink, but there must be a limit.
How much can you realistically afford?
If you find yourself contemplating turning to loan companies or selling the family silver to pay for Christmas, then you seriously need to rethink your options and approach.
Make a list of everything you want or need to get and then work out how you are going to afford it. It pays to start this as early as possible and cut the options that you don’t have the money for.
Keeping Track of Your Money
Christmas is the easiest time to lose track of what you are spending. If you want to save money, you need to know what’s coming in and going out. Using something as simple as an online budgeting tool or even a sheet of paper pinned up in the kitchen can certainly help. Keeping track of how much you spend has a psychological advantage – it can often stop you making those impulse buys when you know there are more important things to get.
Decide in Advance
Do your lists well in advance. That includes whether you’re having turkey or another meat (or vegetarian delights) for Christmas Day, how you’re going to keep the family fed over Bank Holiday and what quantities you need to ensure you don’t run out. Buying a big sack of potatoes, for instance, can cost you less and they’ll keep much longer than those you buy in clear plastic bags.
The Christmas Food Shop
Even though it’s Christmas, you can still find plenty of bargains if you look hard enough, particularly on products like wine. Pick a set time to go and do the big Christmas shop, armed with your list, and get everything you need in one go.
Do not be tempted to stray from your list – it can end up adding serious cash to your shop that you don’t need. If you want to stay in budget, then leave your card at home and carry the cash you intend to spend. Check for cheaper offers as you go along and you should keep within your budget.
Buying Gifts at Christmas
One of the biggest causes of debt after Christmas is buying presents for loved ones, friends and family. If you’ve got a big gathering at home this Yuletide, why not ask those attending not to buy presents. Many families slash the money they spend on gifts by just buying for the kids. Another option is to reuse and repurpose rather than spend. We don’t have to keep the high street store in business or increase shareholder profits if we’re on a strict budget.
Reuse and Repurpose
We all have stuff that we can reuse. Anything from old games and books to DIY tools can be passed on as a cheap but useful way of giving people gifts. Save your wrapping and cards from last year to make decorations or reuse for this year’s gifts. If you think about it, there’s plenty of stuff that we can put to good use at Christmas.
Try these simple tips and you will probably find yourself getting to the New Year with a few pennies still in your bank account. It’s all about a slight change in attitude, keeping track of everything, planning properly and not going over your limit. And it’s something we can all do!
PPI mis-selling was one of the biggest bank and lending scams of the last couple of decades. You’ve no doubt noticed the number of ads on TV telling you that you should claim for a refund if you think you were affected.
What is PPI?
When you take out a loan or get a credit card your bank or building society will offer you PPI or payment protection insurance. You pay a small amount to cover you if something goes wrong such as losing your job or getting ill. PPI was also mis-sold on home mortgages, endowments, store cards and overdrafts.
In essence, it’s a useful thing to have but banks and other lenders have been guilty in the past of mis-selling these types of product. A while back they were ordered by the courts to pay back any amounts that had been mis-sold to customers plus interest.
Have you been Mis-sold PPI?
You need to check out your previous loans and see what you had been offered. There are a number of ways that PPI can be mis-sold. If you had an illness or were unemployed at the time you took out the loan, then that is a clear case of mis-selling the insurance.
A number of people were also sold PPI without their knowledge or consent by lenders looking to make a profit. Others were told that they had to take out PPI before they were granted a loan or simply didn’t have the policy fully explained at the time.
All these are cases for claiming that you were mis-sold PPI.
Is it Too Late to Claim?
There is talk about there being a bar on older claims and the regulator once again reiterated this last August. Time could be running out if you are considering claiming for older loans (probably those over 6 years old). It pays to get a PPI claim lodged as a matter of urgency if you think you have a case.
Should I Go to a PPI Claims Company?
The first thing to discover is whether your loan came with PPI attached. You can do this by checking your loan details, if you still have them, or contacting the loan company to see if it was included. If you haven’t got a copy of your agreement, you can get one from the lender, usually for a small cost of about £1. If you can’t remember which loans you’ve had over the years, you can check your credit file on a service like Experian or Equifax.
Should you head straight for a PPI claims company? These charge a percentage for any PPI claim they successfully make and can seem like the easy route to success. However, you can just as easily write to your lender, bank or credit card company and request a refund. There are numerous templates online that can be used if you don’t know how to word things.
A lot depends on whether you want to do everything yourself or want to hire a legal firm to do it for you – make sure you check them out thoroughly before you sign any contract or agreement.
What Payout Can I Expect?
If you are eligible to claim back PPI, the amount can run into the thousands and provide you with a significant amount of money. You need to be clear why you think you have been mis-sold PPI and the institution has an obligation to contact you within 8 weeks to say they are working on your claim. Don’t expect it all to happen quickly. There’s no obligation on banks to pay out within a certain time and there’s a big backlog of PPI claims out there. A legal firm may well be able to hurry things up more if you are going down the claims company route.
The amount that has been claimed so far is only the tip of the iceberg and you need to act soon if you want to claim a PPI refund. It’s not that difficult to do and it could put several thousand pounds back in your pocket.