In February 2021 the FSCS announced that they had completed their investigation into Liberty SIPP Limited and were now starting to assess claims against Liberty SIPP. The basis of the claim relates to the lack of due diligence carried out by Liberty SIPP. Many of the SIPPs that were opened with Liberty were as a result of cold calls made to clients by Avacade Limited and other non-authorised introducers of business. The clients were advised to open a SIPP with Liberty, to transfer their existing pension to the SIPP and thereafter invest in unregulated, high risk and illiquid “investments”. Many of these investments related to the purchase of forestry in Costa Rica. Other “investments” which were completely inappropriate related to unsecured personal loans to private companies. These sort of “investments” should never have been allowed to form part of a SIPP, the object of which is to provide a good income in retirement.
We are pleased to announce that on 1 March 2021 one of our clients received an award of compensation. This client had previously had a defined benefit pension with Alliance Boots. He was cold called by Avacade who provided financial advice even though they were not authorised to do so. They advised our client to open a SIPP with Liberty SIPP Limited, to transfer his defined benefit pension to the SIPP and “invest” in Ethical Forestry Limited. They arranged for the SIPP to be opened and thereafter arranged for the transfer of our client’s defined benefit pension. On 6 September 2012 the sum of £27,776.22 was transferred from Alliance Boots to Liberty SIPP. After withdrawing 25% tax free cash Liberty SIPP remitted the sum of £17,400.00 to Ethical Forestry Limited in respect of the so-called “investment” of trees in Costa Rica. Our client’s “investment” failed leaving him with a pension which was worthless.
On 17 February 2021 we submitted our client’s application for compensation to the FSCS. Some 12 days later, on 1 March 2021, we were pleased to advise our client that he had received an award of compensation of £21,057.15.
We expect to hear from the FSCS very shortly with favourable awards for our many clients who were the victims of this pension mis-selling scandal.