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Lifetime Sipp hit with 500 more complaints

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Although the failed pensions firm entered administration over a year ago, Lifetime Sipp has recently been hit with 500 more complaints from former clients.

Lifetime Sipp background

In its ‘heyday’, the firm offered a range of pension investments, later found out to be fundamentally unsafe. The most notable of these was Harlequin’s property investment scheme, which was found to be fraudulent. The scheme promised shares in overseas properties that never actually came to fruition. More than £390m was lost by investors in the scheme.

As well as the complaints through Lifetime Sipp, many people also invested directly into Harlequin. Following the complaints about the scheme, the Serious Fraud Office investigated and prosecutions have been made.

Millions of pounds of investor money were tied up in the scheme. They are now fighting to get their money back via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In default

In March 2018, the firm was placed into administration. One year later in April 2019, it went into liquidation.

In June 2019, it was declared in default by the FSCS. With over 3,600 complaints totalling £56.5m, the FSCS has stated it may take years to resolve the complaints.

Hartley Pensions

Lifetime Sipp’s books had started to be transferred to Hartley Pensions at the time of liquidation, with the transfer agreed before the scandal in 2015.

Hartley also bought the books of other collapsed Sipp firms including GPC and Greyfriars Asset Management.

Managing director of Hartley Pensions, Denis McHugh, told the FT Adviser: “In accordance with an existing agreement, many Lifetime Sipp schemes were transferred to the Hartley Pensions Sipp prior to the Lifetime Sipp Company going into administration and are now members of the Hartley Pensions Sipp.

“A number of further schemes are due to be transferred to Hartley Pensions and it is expected that those members’ schemes will transfer shortly as part of the same agreement.”

If you invested with Lifetime Sipp, or into Harlequin Properties, please get in touch. Our experts will let you know if you’ve been mis-sold.