James Hay provides financial services products throughout the UK. The company is a well-known Self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider, having built a strong reputation over a number of years.
The company was founded in 1979, incorporated in 1990 and became part of Abbey National (now Santander UK) in 1994.
By 2012, James Hay was considered one of the best SIPP providers. The firm won MoneyFacts Award in 2012 and 2013 for the best SIPP provider. As recently as 2016, James Hay reported a £5.2 million-pound profit. The majority of this was from the administration of SIPPs.
In the early 2000s, James Hay grew dramatically, becoming one of the largest providers of SIPPs. By late 2002 the company had approximately £6.5bn of funds under administration and over 26,000 SIPPs.
Investments in Elysian Fuels
However, the success did not continue. By 2017 the company was in a very different position with an operating loss of £2.3 million.
Investors lost millions as a result of providers like James Hay allowing unregulated, non-standard investments to form part of their SIPPs, investments which later failed.
The dramatic turn of fortunes for James Hay was due to exceptional costs relating to the investigation by the HMRC into the firm’s exposure to Elysian Fuels, a biofuel investment.
The Elysian Fuel company, a biofuel investment, was reportedly invested in by several well-known football stars. It has been at the centre of an HMRC’s investigation relating to tax relief claimed by investors selling shareholdings back to their SIPPs in mid-2017.
James Hay had advised 500 clients to invest a total of around £55 million in Elysian Fuel. Elysian Fuel failed in 2015 and these investments are now considered worthless.
IFG, the parent company of James Hay, is currently facing a potential HMRC sanction charge of £20m over these non-standard investments.
Did James Hay act as administrator for your SIPP, could you have invested in Elysian Fuels and lost money?
If so contact Anthony Philip James Solicitors, our team of financial mis-selling experts, may be able to recover compensation for any loss suffered.