Who are London & Colonial?
London & Colonial provided pension products for nearly 30 years.
Over that time the company gained a strong reputation as a Self-invested personal pension (SIPP) administrator. The form offered several different flexible SIPPs to meet the needs of investors. At its height, London & Colonial administered SIPPs for over 2,000 clients and had yearly profits over £1 million.
Since 2012, London & Colonial struggled to make any profit with the accounts for 2015 only showing a profit of £38k.
In 2016 the company was acquired for approximately £5.4 million by STM Group. STM Group has offices in UK, Malta, Jersey, Spain, and Gibraltar where its head office is based.
STM Group posted a pre-tax profit of £2.8 million in 2016 and a balance sheet showing £112 million, it was hoped the STM Group would transform the fortunes of London & Colonial.
However, in October 2017 the chief executive of the STM Group, Alan Kentish, was arrested in Gibraltar. This was after he allegedly failed to disclose information over tax disputes involving a client.
The client had been involved in a dispute involving two countries, to do with transactions between 2008 and 2013, over their respective rights to the taxes correctly paid by him.
A month later, it was announced that STM Group was suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Aim market.
Whilst Alan Kentish was later released without charge, the STM group continued to fight attempts by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to investigate the Gibraltar arm of the business. A hearing on this matter was due to be heard on 22nd January 2018 but STM finally agreed to an independent review of its business practices and work with financial advisers.
Accountancy firm Deloitte were tasked to review internal compliance, corporate governance, conflicts of interest across the London & Colonial. The audit also covered areas of the pensions business, including investments advised by intermediaries.
After months of delay, the final report from Deloitte identified 32 issues across the STM companies. These include improvements needed to ensure that the businesses comply with the relevant Gibraltarian legislation and best practice. This is as well as improving the governance and compliance framework of the business.
Whilst the Deloitte report only detailed STM’s Gibraltar-based entity investors must now be questioning the performance and management of the other parts of the STM Group including London & Colonial.
Does or did London & Colonial act as administrator for your SIPP, have you have invested in a risky investment and lost money? If so contact us. Our team of financial mis-selling experts may be able to recover compensation for any loss suffered.