In March, self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider Carey Pensions faced High Court action from investors with claims worth up to £3m, in what could be a landmark ruling for SIPP providers.
Carey Pensions is accused of working with unregulated introducers including Commercial Land and Property Brokers. The SIPP provider invested individuals pension pots into investments including Storefirst, a UK self-storage unit facility, and Gas Verdant, which offered returns from plots of farmland in Australia. These and other similar investments, were unsuitable for many of the investors.
Glyn Taylor, one of our solicitors specialising in mis-sold SIPPs, attended the case in the High Court and believes it could be potentially disastrous for many other SIPP providers if the ruling goes against Carey Pensions.
The FCA principles
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took the unusual step of giving evidence in the landmark case, stating that the actions of Carey Pensions went against the FCA principles of business, which govern all regulated firms. Their 11 principles include an obligation to treat customers fairly, and to communicate information to clients in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.
The FCA also believe that where the asset is extremely high risk, it should not be put into a SIPP as it is too high risk to deliver a return in retirement.
The judgement is now pending with a decision expected in the next three months.
The outcome of the case could have a big impact on the marketplace. If the courts rule that SIPP providers are financially responsible for their customers losses if they have not undertaken the required due-diligence regarding the investment, then it could result in a large increase in the number of mis-selling claims against SIPP providers, and ultimately some SIPP providers going into administration.
If you think you have been mis-sold a SIPP by Carey Pensions, get in touch with our professional team of solicitors today to find out how we can help.