Mis Sold SIPP
Clients of three failed Self-invested personal pension (SIPP) companies, who had their pension funds invested in high risk investments will receive payouts from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), as announced in early 2018
An announcement by the scheme confirmed that they would compensate investors involved in more than 150 claims against Brooklands Trustees, Montpelier Pension Administration and Stadia Trustees, all of whom the FSCS declared as in default. Over time, the number of pension providers at fault has increased.
Claims made relate to unregulated, non-standard investments which include oil fields, overseas property and diamonds, and are all deemed as high risk.
It has been confirmed by the FSCS that the action taken relates to the way that firms created and administered the SIPPs, through which the claimants invested. This direction of these claims suggest due diligence failings.
Understanding Mis Selling SIPP Process
The majority of investors don’t understand the actual or potential losses involved, when a SIPP has been mis-sold.
An additional concern is that the compensation may be paid back into the SIPP in question, causing the investors further stress and worry. Furthermore, whilst believing their money has disappeared, without the possibility of it being recovered, they don’t know the actual value of their pension.
What’s the problem with SIPP
For a long time, a SIPP was seen as an expensive option and were subsequently not viewed as a mainstream investment. However, in recent times, a range of new products have been launched which targeted pension holders with budgets of a more normal level.
After the launch of these products, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) very quickly began to receive complaints about misrepresentation, in terms of funds that had been invested into the Sipp’s.
At the core of the problem was the type of investment product chosen and many of these products involved putting money into unregulated and non-standard investments. An example were AIGO funds, non-standard asset-based investments, which were listed on a Mauritius stock exchange, which subsequently collapsed.
The sale of such an investment solution is frequently supported by aggressive sales methods which promise significant returns, at a far higher rate than that of a standard pension. Whilst there are multiple problems with such a situation, the most pertinent point is the pension holder’s funds being put at increased risk, whilst receiving misrepresentative or unsuitable advice. Whilst experienced investors may be comfortable with high-risk products, this product is not suitable for the majority of pension holders.
Ignoring for a moment, the fact that they are unsuitable, it should be considered that financial advisors should not sell this type of option to inexperienced investors. Such mis-selling has left ordinary pension holders, in their thousands, out of pocket
Was a SIPP mis sold to you?
The first place to look when considering if you have been the victim of SIPP mis-selling, is the investment product itself. If it was a non-standard or exotic investment, then it could fall under the case of mis-selling.
To clarify – what is a non-standard or exotic investment product? Looking back at the selection of SIPP investments mis-sold in recent years, examples of these assets include:
- Unlisted shares
- car parking schemes
- property both in the UK and overseas
- overseas holiday resorts
- burial plots
- renewable energy
More signs that you may have been mis-sold include:
- A lack of transparency in relation to fees involved
- Aggressive and highly pressured sales tactics
- High fees claimed by the financial advisor
- Feeling that risks were not adequately explained prior to making a decision
- A lack of understanding regarding the investment itself
- Your previous pension scheme met your needs
- The suggestion that investing in a SIPP assisted in avoiding certain taxes
SIPP Compensation Awards
There are two different levels of compensation, based on which body is awarding the funds. The FSCS has a maximum amount of £50,000 and the Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) has set a maximum of £150,000.
Furthermore, many investors are unaware that they can still claim compensation, even if their original advisor has since ceased trading.
However, not every claim is limited to the maximum compensation of £50,000. Don’t worry if this sounds too technical as we are here to help, but the network of an Appointment Representative can be held responsible for any of its advisors actions.
Diffusing one worry highlighted earlier, you can choose a bank account to have compesation or redress paid into, meaning that once the claim has been resolved, you will not need to deal with the SIPP once more.
Who are Maple Financial
At Maple, we are a dedicated team providing a professional claims service for those people who do not wish or are worried about managing the claim themselves. We deliver logical, practical solutions, with all claims backed by practical evidence. With over 10 years experience, the team at Maple are comfortable and familiar in dealing with the complaints processes used by the key stakeholders involved in such claims, from brokers and lenders to insurance companies and financial institutions.
Why use us for your SIPP claims?
Our expertise allows us to consider potential evidence that may not appear relevant at first glance. We understand what actions the provider should have taken and compare this to the reality of the situation. At Maple, we have an Independent Financial Advisor who looks after each case, who is an expert in pensions. We identify the transaction sequence that has lead to your current situation and then ask questions about the ‘what if’s’ and ‘why’s’, which allow us to build a financial picture showing your true losses.
One of our core values is that any claims of this nature should be reviewed by industry experts who understand the detail that matters.
We will help your claim by analysing documentation from lenders, pension administrators, insurance companies and other stakeholders in the process, to create a true reflection of events taken place, in relation to your investments.
If you think that you might be owed SIPP –
please get in touch.
Our SIPP expert will check it for you for free.
Address: 4 Sadlers Court
Oakham, Rutland LE15 7GH
Telephone: 0800 043 3469
Company Reg. Nr: SC123254