After the collapse of GPC SIPP Limited (mentioned in our previous blog) which entered administration recently, The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has been inundated with over 500 claims relating directly to GPC SIPP.
The 500 or so cases involving GPC SIPP largely relate to complaints regarding the investment of pension finances in unregulated schemes which then went on to fail. There have been sizeable financial losses, with the full actual value still yet to be properly estimated. In light of this, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) announced in mid-June that the claims currently with the FOS will be transferred to FSCS responsibility. One impact of this is that a compensation limit of £85,000 applies to failed firms from April 2019, up from the previous limit of £50,000.
The company, previously known as Guardian Pension Consultants, have seen Adam Stephens and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson appointed as joint administrators in June. GPC entered insolvency in large part because of multiple failed SIPP investments in relation to around 2,700 SIPPs holding. Notable failed investments include Harlequin Properties, a luxury hotel development that never ended up being fully built.
Between 2009 and 2012, these SIPPs were placed into a range of high-risk investments, which given the extensive problems with these investments, has led to the company not marketing its services since 2013. This is according to the administrators, while the FSCS has stated the FOS will soon be in touch with individuals to ask permission to transfer their claims. From there, it will be the responsibility of the FSCS to assess whether or not it can accept each claim.
They will also determine on what basis any losses should be calculated. GPC SIPP was providing technical and administration services to Guardian Pension Trustees Limited. They, in turn, have been the corporate trustee of around 3,200 SIPPs, with a total investment value in the region of £130m.
For anyone who has been mis-sold a SIPP, or given incorrect SIPP advice, and has suffered financial loss as a result, get in touch with us today by phone on 0800 014 8275, email on email@example.com, or by contact form over at our Contact page. Here at Pension Justice, we have helped many clients in similar situations to recover compensation in relation to any financial losses.