BlackStar Wealth Management Ltd
A complaint regarding a mis-sold pension from BlackStar Wealth Management should be upheld, the Financial Ombudsman Service has ruled.
The complaint, given by a ‘Mr I’, discusses in detail how he complains that he was mis-sold his pension plan by BlackStar Wealth Management Ltd (‘BlackStar’). As a result of this unsuitable financial advice on the part of the independent financial advisor, he has suffered a financial loss.
In 2014, Mr I was told of an ‘investment opportunity’ for pension schemes by an introducer for BlackStar.
Mr I was advised to transfer his Transact pension to a Self-Invested Personal Pension (‘SIPP’). The SIPP was then used to invest in Store First. This was an unregulated investment in commercial property providing self-storage units.
Investments in storage pods have been sold through SIPPs for several years. However, many investors may have been mis-sold their investments as a lot of those who were given advice were not suitable for such high-risk, unregulated investments. Such unsuitable financial advice resulted in SIPP investors losing their pension savings.
Storage Pod Investment
The details of the case go on to explain that ‘Mr I’ was 59 years of age at the time. He had £500 in his current account, no savings, and credit card debt of £2,500. He had a mortgage of £157,000 and owned a second property valued at £250,000.
In terms of his personal circumstances, Mr I also had Parkinson’s Disease, and would be dependent on his pension savings for an income when retired.
BlackStar relied on the Attitude to Risk (‘ATR’) questionnaire submitted by its introducer. It did not meet Mr I before preparing its suitability report. It had a telephone conversation with him. It sent him a client agreement form which set out that it would be providing him with pension advice for which he would pay £1250 plus 1% of the value of his fund annually.
Terry Connor, the Financial Ombudsman Service representative for the case, stated:
“BlackStar failed to meet its regulatory obligation to ‘know your client’; failed to properly establish Mr I’s capacity for loss and risk; inappropriately relied on an unregulated introducer to Ref: DRN3574616 3 absolve itself of any regulatory duty of care to Mr I; unsuitably advised him to buy a high-risk investment, in a single asset class, when he had no prior experience of such investments or that asset class; and failed to provide any credible rationale for its advice. It follows that I have concluded Mr I was not treated fairly or reasonably.”
“I uphold this complaint.”
BlackStar Company Details
BlackStar Wealth Management Limited is based at: 17 Wrens Court, Lower Queen Street, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1RT, UK.
BlackStar Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 491609: View Their FCA Details Here
BlackStar Wealth Management Limited is registered in the UK under Company Number 06697525.
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