Knight denies complaints against it

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The Independent Online
KNIGHT Williams, an investment firm that specialises in advice for the elderly, has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement about the number of complaints its customers have made about it.

There have been suggestions that the firm was the subject of 140 complaints to the regulator Fimbra last year. They arose from information in the annual report of Fimbra's complaints commissioner, Keith Woodley.

Mr Woodley said: 'One firm was the subject of 140 complaints and another firm 101 complaints. These complaints primarily related to churning and negligent management.

'One of these firms had its Fimbra membership terminated during 1992 and is now in default under the terms of the Investors Compensation Scheme.'

Mr Woodley did not name Knight Williams, however. He was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Knight Williams denies that it was the firm subject to the 140 complaints.

John Williams, managing director, said the firm believed there were 79 complaints against it last year. He said Mr Woodley had confirmed verbally that the firm was not the one mentioned by him.

The firm's statement says: 'The number of client complaints received and found to be justified even in part is less than 15 per cent of the level suggested in press comment . . . and represents less than 0.08 per cent of Knight Williams' 20,000 clients.'

Of the 79 complaints identified by Knight Williams, 70 have been resolved, the statement says. 'In 54, Knight Williams has been exonerated.'

The firm says that in only 16 cases has it been found at fault at all, and of these, five were a split decision between the complainant and Knight Williams. This represented 0.08 per cent of the firm's client base.

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