Now that pay-outs are about to begin the question on many investors minds is:
Who is to blame for this disaster and can I claim compensation?
The first payment from the suspended Woodford Equity Income Fund is now scheduled for the end of January. Investors should be told on or around 28th January how much to expect. No details have been released but my best guess would be up to 50% of the current fund value.
The fund has fallen by 18.6% since the suspension was announced and many investors will be sat on a total loss of 40% or more. The final payment will take much longer and there will probably be interim payments in the meantime.
The question now is:
Who is to blame and can I claim compensation?
Some of the “no win no fee” claims management firms are already reporting large numbers of enquiries but none have yet decided whether the prospects of success are large enough for them to get involved. Even if they do so their fees are an eye watering 25% of any compensation received.
There is no reason why aggrieved investors should not make their own claim but against who, on what grounds, and for how much, are all difficult to decide.
Until the full extent of the loss is known there is little that can be done.
Fortunately I and most of my clients switched out of the fund towards the end of 2018. Even then at a loss but before the real problems arose.
I will continue to monitor the claims management companies and will issue a further blog if any of them decide to proceed. I am also helping some clients put together their own claims. Whether that is a service I can offer to others has not yet been decided but if you would like to be on the mailing list just text “Woodford” to 07770 575122 and sign up for blog updates below.
Do I think there is any chance of success? Yes – in some circumstances.
Hargreaves Lansdown clients who can show a past record of being influenced by the Wealth 150/50 lists and clients paying ongoing wealth management fees to a regulated adviser are good examples. If however you made your own investment decisions, without relying on one of the “best buy” lists such as the Wealth 50 list, or used a regulated adviser, I see little chance of success.
The fact that you have suffered a loss is not a good enough reason for a claim. You will need to evidence a significant lack of care from whoever you were relying on to guide you to even get to first base. There is a basic financial services duty known as “treating customers fairly” which could be the basis for a claim and overcome all the disclaimers in “terms of business documents” etc.
I do not see this as a DIY project but just where to get support and how much it will cost is not yet known.
If you would like to be kept up to date just text “Woodford” to 07770 575122.
I am not a regulated financial adviser and nothing I say should be treated as personal advice, but I do believe my previous experience as a financial adviser and current experience as a Hargreaves Lansdown client and Woodford investor could be very valuable to anyone considering a claim.
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