Did you invest with SVS Securities Plc?
As of August 2019, they are now in administration (a type of insolvency proceedings), and the regulators at the FCA have shed light on how SVS Securities worked closely with third parties to generate demand for their investment products, and encouraged financial advisers to target clients with valuable defined benefit pensions to promote high-risk investments.
Final salary pension transfers are often deemed unsuitable for most people except in certain circumstances, due to the loss of a guaranteed income in retirement as well as other protected benefits.
But by adding high-risk investments into the mix, some pension savers may have been put at even further risk.
If you moved your pension and invested via SVS Securities, you may be be able to make a claim for a mis-sold pension.
While the FSCS may be covering losses for many, if you have concerns about the advice you received to transfer your pension in the first place, you may be able to make a claim there, too.
Find out with a free initial assessment with the team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice.Get started now
While not every SVS Securities client may be effected, now may be a good time to have your advice checked for mis-selling as a mis-sold pension may negatively effect your retirement plans.
Then you may have been mis-sold, and you could be able to make a claim for negligent SIPP advice.
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Information is now just coming through about how SVS Securities may have operated in certain cases in recent years.
The FCAs notice tells how SVS breached conduct of business rules and acted in a way that may have gone against some of their client’s best interests.
It is now known that SVS ‘worked closely’ with third parties, including bond issuers and advisers to generate demand for some of the investments they offered. In some cases, this was done without regard for the client’s investment needs, and some clients paid dearly.
In some cases, fees, charges and commissions added up to 20% of what the client was investing.
Email records show that SVS sometimes encouraged financial advisers to target people with valuable final salary pensions.Get started now
The Financial Conduct Authority is the body that authorises and regulates financial firms in the UK, ensuring that they stick to the rules about suitability and good behaviour.
If they have concerns about a firm then they can restrict that firms permissions to perform certain regulated activities, or de-authorise them completely.
On 2 August 2019, the FCA issued a First Supervisory Notice about SVS Securities, saying that it must not “without the prior written consent of the Authority, carry out regulated activities […]”.
It seems that SVS Securities may not have always acted in their client’s best interests, and if you dealt with them as part of a pension transfer or SIPP investments, you may have been mis-sold.
2 events appear to happen in quick succession, possibly spelling the end for SVS Securities. The FCA notice is published on the 5 August, restricting what SVS can do, coupled with the announcement that the firm is now in Special Administration.
With SVS in special administration, part of the role of Leonard Curtis will be to assess what money is owed to who, and return it where possible. However, if some of the investments have become illiquid then this may present problems.
We hope so! Again, the joint Special Administrators will be tasked with working out who is owed what. However if money cannot be realised from investments this may cause difficulties. Also, costs will be deducted from client money or custody assets to pay for the administration of the firm.
The FSCS has said that they will cover client money shortfalls for eligible clients.
If you have lost money because you have become wrapped up with SVS Securities, it could be that you can claim against SVS themselves, or against a financial adviser if they acted negligently regarding a pension transfer.