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Can I reclaim my St. James’s Place fees?

If you’ve been paying for an ongoing advice service from St. James’s Place or another wealth manager or financial adviser and haven’t received the advice you should have, you may be able to reclaim your fees.

Read on to discover whether you could be affected.

What’s an ongoing advice service?

Wealth managers like St. James’s Place often offer clients an ongoing financial advice service, usually as part of a packaged fees product. One specific example is St. James’s Place’s “all-inclusive” package, which covers an ongoing advice service that is supposed to include an annual financial review.

However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is concerned that many clients have been paying these fees but have not received their annual financial review. If your review didn’t happen, or your wealth manager or financial adviser has no record of it happening, you could be entitled to reclaim your adviser fees or annual management charges.

In setting aside a £426 million provision to repay clients in this situation, St. James’s Place has effectively acknowledged this has been happening, although the firm doesn’t know how many of its clients are affected.

How do I know if I’ve been paying for advice I didn’t receive?

Whether you’re with St. James’s Place or another wealth manager or adviser, the first thing to do is to check your paperwork, which should outline your fee schedule and what you should get for those charges.

If you should have been receiving an annual review or any other specific type of advice within your ongoing fees, the next step is to think about whether these reviews took place or you received the advice in question. Ask your financial adviser for records of any review meetings. If they cannot provide evidence either because the reviews didn’t happen or they didn’t correctly document them, you could be entitled to reclaim your fees.

If you’re unsure about the services you should have received, don’t worry! We can review your paperwork as part of the free, no-obligation review we’ll conduct before we tell you if we think you’re owed compensation.

Which other wealth managers are affected?

In February 2024, the FCA wrote to 20 of the UK’s largest wealth managers, outlining their concerns about the extent to which overcharging of fees had occurred, specifically around charges for services subsequently not provided. This comes after the FCA introduced its so-called Consumer Duty in 2023, which prompted the regular to start looking more closely at firms charging structures and what they deliver for the annual charges they collect.

Both St. James’s Place and Quilter have publicly acknowledged receiving a letter from the FCA, and both firms are subject to a skilled person review.

However, this practice is likely to be widespread across the sector, so even if you’ve been working with a smaller wealth manager or financial adviser, you could still be entitled to compensation.

How much compensation could I get?

Your compensation award will depend on several factors, including:

  • The fees you’ve been paying. Wealth managers typically charge a percentage of the value of the assets they’re managing on your behalf, often capped to a specific monetary value. As your compensation award will generally comprise the fees you shouldn’t have paid, you could receive a higher sum if you’ve been paying more for your services.
  • How long you’ve been a client of St. James’s Place or your wealth manager. The longer you’ve been with a particular wealth manager or adviser, the more fees you’ll have paid, and the greater the potential you’ve paid for services you haven’t received.
  • How many annual reviews you have paid for, but not received. Ultimately, this is the primary basis for your claim; if you’ve had the reviews and they’ve been correctly documented, you likely won’t be owed anything. However, if you’ve been paying St. James’s Place or another wealth manager or financial adviser ongoing advice fees and have not received an annual review, you may be able to reclaim at least the portion of those fees that were supposed to cover the services you didn’t receive.

While what you get will depend on your financial circumstances, the specific fees you’ve been paying, and the services you have – or haven’t – received from your wealth manager or financial adviser, clients for whom LawPlus Solicitors has been able to bring a successful claim have, on average, been awarded compensation of £1,500.

Can I still claim even if I’ve switched wealth managers or financial advisers?

Yes, we can investigate on your behalf if you think you paid for ongoing advice you didn’t receive and have all your paperwork.

You also shouldn’t assume that switching to a different wealth manager or financial adviser means you no longer pay fees for services you’re not receiving. Given how prevalent this practice appears to have been across the sector, it’s worth checking your current and previous agreements to understand what you’ve been paying for and what you may be owed.

Get your money back with LawPlus Solicitors

If you’re concerned you’ve been paying your wealth manager or financial adviser for services you haven’t received, LawPlus Solicitors can help.

Get in touch today to receive your free, no-obligation review, and let’s get your money back and put things right.

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