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Can I reclaim excessive wealth management fees?

Since the introduction of its so-called Consumer Duty in July 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been paying close attention to the fees and charging structures of the UK’s largest wealth managers and financial advisers.

A significant development occurred in February 2024, when it emerged that the regulator had written to 20 of the UK’s largest wealth managers and financial advisers expressing concerns over fees, specifically around cases where ongoing advice charges had been taken from clients but the advice not provided.

How do I know if I’ve been paying excessive wealth management fees?

Unfortunately, it’s not simply a case of feeling like you’ve been paying more than you should and that you’re getting ripped off – even if you’ve been with a wealth manager like St. James’s Place, which has historically had a notorious reputation for its complex and opaque fee structures.

To be able to reclaim your wealth management fees, you’ll need to have been paying for an ongoing advice service, like the “all inclusive” service offered by St. James’s Place, which should have included an annual review of your assets, investments and financial situation, and not have received these reviews.

You may be able to reclaim your fees if the reviews didn’t happen or weren’t documented. In the specific case of St. James’s Place, the firm is known to have had issues with incomplete records before it introduced new IT software in 2021, so it could face significant compensation liabilities for ongoing advice not provided or evidenced before then.

Which wealth managers and financial advisers are affected?

While the FCA wrote to 20 of the UK’s largest wealth managers, we only know for sure at this stage that St. James’s Place and Quilter were amongst them. Both firms are subject to a skilled person review by the regulator, while St. James’s Place has set aside £426 million for paying compensation claims to clients who have paid annual fees for advice they didn’t receive.

However, while the larger firms will understandably grab the news headlines, this issue will likely affect the entire sector, so you could be entitled to compensation even if you’ve always used a less established wealth manager or financial adviser.

Can I reclaim any other fees?

Potentially, but any other claim would happen independently of one that aims to reclaim your excessive wealth management fees and ongoing advice charges.

For example, if you believed your financial adviser provided you with unsuitable advice to transfer your pension, you would need to bring a pension mis-selling claim separately from any adviser fees claim. That’s not to say you couldn’t raise both issues with your wealth manager or financial adviser at the same time, but they’d likely end up being dealt with separately anyway.

How much compensation could I get?

As wealth manager and financial adviser fees are tied to your assets under management, your compensation award will depend on a combination of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The fees you’ve been paying, and whether this was a fixed percentage or subject to any cap.
  • How long you’ve been a client of your wealth manager or financial adviser.
  • The number of annual financial reviews you haven’t received, having paid for them as part of an ongoing advice service.

If you choose to make a claim with LawPlus Solicitors, we’ll give you an idea of how much compensation you may receive after conducting your free, no-obligation review.

On average, LawPlus clients achieve compensation awards of £1,500 when reclaiming their excessive wealth management fees.

Can I claim compensation from multiple wealth managers and financial advisers?

Yes. If you’ve regularly moved your assets from one wealth manager to another or between different financial advisers, you may have been paying at least some of these for advice and services you didn’t receive.

If you are worried this has happened to you, you may be able to bring multiple claims against each wealth manager or adviser and get your money back.

So long as you have your paperwork outlining what your services were supposed to cover, we should be able to review your potential claim and look at whether compensation is due.

Reclaim excessive wealth management fees with LawPlus Solicitors

If you’re worried you’ve been paying for financial advice and services your wealth manager or financial adviser didn’t provide, we can help you get your money back.

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation review of your potential claim or claims, and let’s put things right together.

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