In July 2012, our client who had no investment experience, was introduced to the idea of transferring their pension into a self invested private pension (SIPP) by Marcus James of Platinum Wealth Creation, an unregulated firm with no Part 4a permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This SIPP was to be administered by Berkeley Burke and would allow the client’s pension to be invested through Belem Sky Plantation.
The client had two existing pensions, both with Equitable Life. The entirety of both policies was transferred to the same fund within Berkeley Burke, totalling £20,021.39. After paying all of their fees, the remaining balance of £19,987.50 was used for the investment.
The Claimant had a “low risk” investment appetite and the recommended investments were high risk in nature. At the time of the advice, the claimant was retired and had an outstanding mortgage; the claimant also had £180,000 in additional borrowings. Therefore, the client could not afford to take such a risk with his pension.
The investment failed and the client was unable to recover any of his pension before he contacted High Street Solicitors. Berkeley Burke then entered administration before a claim could be lodged, meaning that the client had to be referred to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The FSCS assessed the claim and found that Berkeley Burke were negligent in accepting such high-risk investments within their portfolio for non-sophisticated investors and failing to conduct their due diligence. An award was made for the sum of £20,751.71 by the FSCS.
Our client is now 78- years old and now has some financial security for the future.