These illustrative stories are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.
Financially, things would be very difficult indeed by now if we’d not had the ombudsman to look into things for us. I’d been made redundant and asked a firm of financial advisers how I could make the most of my limited income.
I'd been paying into a pension scheme – but I’d not expected to retire for 10 years or so. The adviser said I should transfer my pension fund – and a fair bit of my savings – into a plan he said would give me a decent income. It seemed OK for a while – but then I started getting less and less. I was finding it difficult to manage.
I complained to the adviser but felt I was hitting my head against a brick wall. Then the ombudsman service got involved. They went into everything in detail. They said it was clear even from the adviser’s own notes that I'd not been in a position to take risks with my money. So I’d been badly advised all along. They told the adviser what to do to put things right. I only wish someone had explained things to me so clearly at the outset. Then I'd never have needed the ombudsman's help.