Investors, retirees and working families can lose precious savings through decisions based on misinformation given by people they perceived as trusted professionals. Some people can lose all of their hard-earned nest egg, but it’s not always through negligent advice given by smaller, inexperienced firms.
Sadly, bad financial advice is rife, and it’s not just the rogue operators - large financial institutions are also guilty of steering clients into troubled territory.
In 2011 the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning arm, Commonwealth Financial Planning Ltd, was sued for negligent financial advice, while in 2013 Macquarie Bank faced a similar scandal when more than 800 clients complained about serious financial mismanagement of its investors’ funds.
Meanwhile, NAB is still battling to regain its reputation for being a solid and dependable financial advisory institution after it began paying millions to compensate clients who received misleading and non-compliant advice.
Many investors can feel as though they have no recourse against bad financial advice. They may feel defeated by their loss, overwhelmed by a future that is no longer financially secure or embarrassed that they have been cheated out of their savings and future earnings.
Even if they are aware that there is legal recourse, they are daunted by what they perceive will be a lengthy and costly David and Goliath legal battle. But there is a way to regain your confidence in the future and fight for your lost savings.
Law firms such as Maurice Blackburn specialise in financial disputes and help thousands of average Australians recoup money lost as a result of misleading or bad financial advice. These legal practitioners can help to advise you on the best and most expedient options, and represent you if you decide to pursue the case.
The first step is to make a complaint to your financial adviser and the firm they work for. If you’re unhappy with their response, you can do one of two things - take the issue to court or to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
Every client’s situation is different, so you may need to rely on advice from experienced financial advice dispute lawyers such as Maurice Blackburn as to which path is best suited to your circumstances. Taking your case to the AFCA will be cheaper but can be more time consuming and there is a $500,000 cap on compensation. AFCA cannot determine a complaint where the total amount of loss claimed exceeds $1 million.
If you decide to take the matter to court, there is no cap on compensation claims and you can also be awarded compensation for loss of opportunity. The process is often quicker, but it may be expensive if you lose the case and are ordered to pay adverse costs.
Specialist dispute lawyers will be able to confidently advise you on your chances for success.
Fighting back against large financial institutions, smaller financial advisers and banks doesn’t have to be onerous and fraught with failure. Many average Australians of all types – retirees, working families and investors - win cases like these. Taking action in court or through the FOS is the best way to regain your lost financial security.
If you've received bad financial advice, we are here to help. Our specialist lawyers have helped our clients recover millions of dollars from negligent financial advisors. Find out if you have a claim today.
Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.