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Pensions Ombudsman puts Sipp cases on hold

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The Pensions Ombudsman has announced that it has paused approximately 20 cases pending the outcome of an ongoing pension mis-selling case in the High Court.

The Adams vs Carey Pensions case was heard by the High Court in late March. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took the unusual step of giving evidence against Carey Pensions. The case relates to the alleged mis-selling of a Sipp by Carey Pensions and is currently awaiting a judgement.

Up until the case reaching the High Court, the Pensions Ombudsman was processing the claims. However, it has now announced it made the decision to halt a number of cases. They have postponed cases described as being “closely related” to the current court case.

What does the Pensions Ombudsman decision mean?

One of our expert litigators, Glyn Taylor, discussed the case. He believes that despite the court case, the Ombudsman should proceed with the claims.

Glyn said: “The court is considering the individual facts of the Adams case. However, the FCA has already made it very clear to SIPP providers the responsibilities they owe to clients under the FCA principle of treating customers fairly.

“The FCA reiterated this view that SIPP operators could not shirk regulatory responsibilities towards their clients. This is regardless of whether there was an execution-only contract in place during the Adams v Carey Pensions case.

“If providers haven’t complied with these responsibilities then the Ombudsman should give weight to the FCA guidelines and progress claims accordingly.”

Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) isn’t halting any cases. It says it is “progressing complaints relating to SIPPs in accordance with [its] statutory duties.”

Glyn also said: “While cases shouldn’t be halted, the Adams v Carey Pensions case will have a major impact on the SIPP market. SIPP providers, brokers, IFAs and clients are all watching the outcome very closely.”

Carey Pensions recently revealed a plan to sell part of its business. This is due to a rise in losses following a number of historic legal cases, you can read more about it here.

Do you have a Sipp and believe it might have been mis-sold?  Contact our team of legal experts today to get advice and guidance on how to gain the compensation you deserve.