It seems to be common practice for private banks and wealth managers to say one thing and do the other. Reliance on private pensions is growing as a result of the UK’s ageing population. Income drawdown is a popular method of taking retirement benefits for those people with larger pension pots. But unreliable information can lead to irreparable financial damage.
The Financial Services Authority is said to be concerned over “poor firm conduct” in private banking and wealth management. The FSA recently conducted a thematic review of the wealth management sector “which revealed evidence of misconduct, giving rise to potential consumer detriment”.
Our brain is the most powerful computer known to mankind, processing vast quantities of information in seconds instinctively and without much effort. Unfortunately, some decisions have a more profound effect on our lives than others, particularly financial ones.
There will be thousands of people contemplating retirement this year and that number is growing every year. In 1901 there were 10 working people for every pensioner. But this reduced to 3 working people in 2010 and is set to reduce to just 2 by 2050. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that reliance on the state will disappear. However, many people lack faith in private pensions and quite rightly so. It’s time to start asking different questions.
Barclays received 618 complaints relating to investments in 2011 dwarfing those received by its competitors by some considerable margin. In their defence Barclays were not the only culprits who felt the wrath of investor fury; others include Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Santander. I was also surprised to find Towry in the firing line since they were not a mainstream bank like the others. In fact Towry received a staggering 345 investment related complaints in the six months ending 2010, evoking serious disquiet amongst their clients.