In February 2012, Avacade Investment Options (Avacade), Ethical Forestry, Agro Forestry, Agro Energy and Global Plantation, all unregulated firm with no Part 4a permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), recommended that our client transfer their pension into a self-invested private pension (SIPP) administered by Liberty SIPP.
On this advice, our client who had no investment experience transferred a total of £71,096.15 into the SIPP, from five separate pension policies. This was compromised as follows:
- Armed Forces Pension Scheme
- Equitable Life Assurance Society
- Royal London
After paying inflated annual fees, £66,395.00 was then used to make four investments, namely:
- Agro Energy
- Agro Forestry
- Ethical Forestry
- Global Plantation
Despite our client’s low risk investment appetite, the recommended investments were high risk in nature. At the time of the advice, the client was unemployed, earning less than £10,000 per year and could therefore could not afford to take any risks with his pension.
The investment failed and the client was unable to recover any of his pension before he contacted High Street Solicitors. Liberty SIPP 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 Liberty SIPP 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 £71,832.18 by the FSCS.
Our client is now 57 years old and now has some financial security for the future.