Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services are a financial advice firm, established in 2011 and based in Scotland.
Tidal Wealth Management Ltd and Cliffton Gillis were appointed representatives of the firm from August 2013 to May 2016 and Jan 2014 to June 2014, respectively.
Unsuitable advice complaints have been upheld against Cowley and Miller by the Financial Ombudsman Service. Clients successfully complained that the advice they’d received to transfer their pensions into a SIPP and invest in a high-risk, unregulated investment wasn’t suitable.
Some of these clients were referred to Cowley and Miller via an unregulated introducer company, who had recommended the investment.
However, the FOS stated in one decision …
“… regardless of who introduced Mrs B to the investment, Cowley & Miller still had a duty to provide her with suitable advice”
The investment involved in some of these complaints was Carbon Credits. This has commonly been mis-sold to average retail clients through SIPPs, like the cases above. Unfortunately, being high risk and unregulated means, it is usually only appropriate for certain “sophisticated” investors.
In 2018 the FCA placed requirements on Cowley and Miller regarding their pension transfer business. The firm were told they must “Refrain from advising on any new or existing transfers of defined benefit or safeguarded benefits for clients in respect of any transaction, save where the advice has been previously reviewed by an independent and suitably qualified third party…”
June 2021 and the FCA placed an asset restriction meaning the firm must not dispose, transfer, sell or diminish the value of any assets or its client base without the FCA’s approval.
Mis-sold financial advice is at the heart of most mis-selling cases and quite often involves transferring from a personal pension into SIPP.
Unfortunately, the investments within these SIPPs turn out to be high-risk and unregulated and totally unsuitable.
People being advised to invest in schemes that do not match their attitude to risk is a common factor in many mis-selling cases.
The transfer itself may also be ill-advised if the client would have been better off staying in their existing pension scheme.
If you are concerned that the advice you received from Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services may have been unsuitable (mis-sold) – we offer a free initial consultation to help you check.
Whilst each case is individual, as mis-selling specialists we know to look for certain signs that in our experience indicate that mis-selling may have happened.
Our assessment is free and there’s absolutely no obligation to use our service if you have case.
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You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.
It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.