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True Potential Wealth Management

True Potential Wealth Management is an FCA-regulated advisory firm serving investment clients across the UK with over 1,000 financial advisers.

It’s part of the True Potential Group which also incorporates True Potential Adviser Services LLP – providers of financial and technology services.

Why are people complaining about True Potential Wealth Management?

Some clients have made complaints which involve True Potential Wealth Management over recommendations they received to switch their pensions.

There have been complaints taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) from clients who complained that they’d received unsuitable advice which caused them to suffer losses.

Let’s briefly look at some of the cases …

Mr G

Mr G made a complaint that True Potential Wealth Management (TPWM) gave him unsuitable advice to switch his personal pensions to a new personal pension.

According to the FOS decision Mr G had previously been advised on his pensions in 2018 by an IFA referred to as X.

X moved to become an adviser with True Potential Wealth Management in 2021.

In May and June 2021 there were two meetings involving X and Mr G, after which Mr G switched his pension plans to TPWM.

Mr G claimed he was told he’d be better served by moving his pensions to True Potential.

When Mr G became unhappy with the performance of his pension he complained to True Potential Wealth Management, who told him that his pension had been switched on a ‘non-advised basis’.

According to the case details TPWM says that, after X had informed Mr G of his move to the firm, it sent Mr G a Direct Marketing Offer (DMO).

It added that Mr G responded to that offer and decided to switch his pension ‘without any opinion being offered’ by X or TPWM. This is what is meant by a ‘non-advised’ basis.

The Ombudsman had to consider whether True Potential Wealth Management had provided Mr G with regulated advice to switch pensions.

The Ombudsman said he had evidence that “leads me to believe that Mr G was in contact with X whilst processing the response to the DMO.”

In conclusion the Ombudsman found that the actions of the adviser, working for True Potential, did amount to regulated advice.

Adding: “Overall, I don’t think that the way Mr G was treated was fair or reasonable.”

Mrs C

Another case (Mrs C) upheld by the FOS, again involved an IFA moving to join True Potential and a DMO being sent.

The FOS said that because the adviser completed the direct offer application on behalf of the client using his office computer and stood to ‘earn a significant commission’ from it, the adviser did give advice and made arrangements for the switch.

This complaint was also upheld as the advice to switch was unsuitable.

There didn’t appear to be ‘any material benefit’ for the client to switch from one cautious fund to another.

True Potential told by FOS to compensate clients over pension switches

True Potential has argued that these were ‘non-advised’ transfers.

However, the FOS did not agree and in these cases said the recommendations constituted advice.

True Potential Wealth Management were told by the FOS to compensate the clients.

Most of these cases seem to begin in the same way.

The client is informed by their existing IFA that they are joining True Potential Wealth Management, usually by meeting or phone call.

Following the move, clients are sent a Direct Marketing Offer (DMO) from True Potential which reportedly has a link to open an account.

The Ombudsman did say that the DMO sent by TPWM in itself did not amount to the provision of regulated advice.

However, the actions of the IFA and their involvement in the process did.

True Potential Wealth Management and British Steel pension advice claims

There have also been complaints made about the advice given by True Potential Wealth Management to transfer from a Defined Benefit pension.

In particular advice to transfer from the British Steel Pensions Scheme (BSPS) into a SIPP.

In 2022 TPWM faced five complaints which were upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in 2022, all relating to British Steel.

The FOS found that the advice given to transfer from the BSPS was unsuitable for the client.

DB pensions like BSPS are incredibly valuable and it is unlikely clients that transferred would achieve the same level of benefits it offered.

What is unsuitable pension advice?

Click to find out more

Advised to take up a Direct Offer and switch to True Potential Wealth Management?

There are other issues that some clients may have about being advised to switch their pensions following a direct offer from True Potential.

Charges

You may be worse off as a result of the switch if the product you moved from was significantly cheaper than True Potential’s platform and portfolios – and you weren’t told about this. 

No benefit to you

The move may not have had any ‘material benefit’ for you and in fact all you’ve done is switch from one fund to another. This may come at a cost to you and a financial benefit to the IFA or True Potential.

Undisclosed Commissions/Incentives

Did you know True Potential paid incentives to advisers who joined them and brought their clients along? In some cases, up to 8% of the funds transferred.

There’s nothing wrong in incentive payments – they don’t affect you as a client or your money.

However, it could affect your decision to switch and you may have considered the recommendation differently if you knew that your adviser could gain from it.

What to do if you think you’ve received unsuitable pension advice

If you think your pension may have been affected by unsuitable advice it’s important to check now as your pension and retirement could be affected.

Also there are time limits that apply to making a complaint and claiming compensation.

If you need some help we provide an initial assessment in which we’ll tell you if we think you have a case.

Our Initial Assessment

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It’s completely confidential and free of charge

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There’s absolutely no obligation for you to use our claims service

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Simply call our office for a chat or fill in the form to arrange a call back at time that suits you

Arrange a Free Initial Assessment




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