The Financial Ombudsman Service has upheld a complaint against Sebastian & St James International Financial Advisers over a fall in one of their clients’ pension pots.
The Client, who met another IFA who’s back in 2011, was advised to transfer his retirement funds into a SIPP: Self-Invested Personal Pension, amongst other things.
But as part of this advice, the client (Mr P) was also told to invest £20,000 of that SIPP pension into the New Earth Solutions recycling fund, as well as another £20,000 in UK Secured Finance.
Later, Sebastian & St James International Financial Advisers acquired the clients from the first financial adviser, including Mr P.
Problems with UCIS pension investments.
Despite the names which sound safe, both funds were considered to be high-risk and unregulated by the UK financial services watchdog.
Sebastian & St James claimed that they were not the ones who gave the original advice, only having a “servicing” contract.
But the Ombudsman said that it was clear that Sebastian & St James International were more than just servicing agents, as evidence from the pension providers showed that they had given Mr P advice in 2015, and if it had reviewed the client’s SIPP arrangements properly, then they would have advised him to switch away from the two high-risk investments.
Sebastian & St James declined to comment to Money Marketing, and were told to pay compensation to Mr P.
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