Home / Mis-sold Pension Stories: Anthony and the Unregulated Land Bank
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Alex Waters Author

Job Title: Senior Case Manager
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While we consider every claim for a mis-sold pension compensation for our clients a good moment (and that’s almost everyday anyway), some days are a little better than others.

Like just last week, when we helped Anthony win back his SIPP pension investment from a high-risk and unregulated land-banking scheme, with a direct claim totaling £158,112.45**, and it doesn’t often get much better than that for everyone concerned!


Pension Cold Calls

Anthony’s story mirrors that of thousands of other victims of pension cold-calling, the future legality of which is currently part of a government consultation.

Receiving a cold-call for a pension review and subsequent investment advice, Anthony thought it might have been time to get his pensions in order and begin a conscious effort to save for retirement, so he went ahead.

The result of the review was to use a regulated IFA to advise on and execute the transfer of Anthony’s existing pensions into a SIPP: a Self-Invested Personal Pension, and invest his hard-earned money into a land scheme.


Land Banking Schemes

The idea of a land scheme is to buy up land in what is hopefully a desirable spot, in the hope that somebody comes along wanting to build on it, applies for planning permission and then pays up more than the original purchase price, generating the returns.

The thing is, these types of investments and unregulated – not under the jurisdiction of the FCA, making them High-risk investments, with no compensation available for investors should the investment go into liquidation, or never be bought.

The practice of flogging land-banks is so much of a concern for the FCA, they even wrote a warning page about it on their website. We followed suit.

Suitability for Land Banking Schemes

For an adviser to recommend such a high-risk investment, they have to make sure the client is suitable for it, capable of recovering easily if the investment turns sour.

The FCA has a pretty strict criteria for this kind of thing, with advisers having the responsibility to make sure that the client is at least a High-Net-Worth Individual (earning over £100k per year or with £250k or investible assets not including their home or pension), and/or a Sophisticated Investor (with a wealth of knowledge and experience about investing), as well as checking they have a thorough understanding of the risks involved.

In this case, Anthony, who lives in the North West, was doing ok for himself, but did not fit the descriptions of either a High Net-Worth Individual, OR a Sophisticated Investors (at the end of the day, not many of us do!)

This meant that the advice the IFA gave Anthony may have been negligent, and it’s then that our team got involved.

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice

Over a short series of phone-calls with Anthony, the team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice probed into the ins and outs of what had happened to Anthony’s pension, and quickly worked out that he had a case.

Using our knowledge, experience and a winning strategy developed over years of pursuing rightful claims similar to Anthony’s, we worked on a No Win – No Fee basis* to win Anthony’s money back, eventually resulting in our record-breaking £158,112.45** claim being awarded.

On signing the paperwork to receive his claim, Anthony explained how his case handlers operated: “I had big problems, but they took the load off my shoulders and gave me a direction – no hard stuff, no leg work!”

With a score of 10/10 for overall satisfaction with our services, we’re happy we got such a great win for Anthony, and wish him all the best in the future.



Spencer Churchill Claims Advice is a leading Claims Management firm specialising is mis-sold pensions and investments.

**Figure calculated before the deduction of our success fee of 24% Inclusive of Vat


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