FCA to submit evidence in landmark SIPP case

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can submit evidence in a landmark case that could shape how Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) claims are handled in future, a High Court Judge has said.

As reported by Money Marketing, the case centres on lorry driver Russell Adams, who alleges that he was the victim of mis-selling by Carey Pensions, a SIPP provider. Carey Pensions is accused of recklessly investing Mr Adam’s SIPP funds into Store First unit pods through an unregulated introducer.

Mr Adams’ legal representatives argued successfully that the FCA should be allowed to submit evidence in the case, due to the fact that questions have been raised over how SIPP providers such as Carey Pensions comply with the regulated activities order and conduct of business rules.

In contrast, Carey’s representatives argued that the FCA “has an agenda” in the trial and that it does not serve the interests of justice for one SIPP provider to be singled out by the regulator.

Judge Marc Dight, who heard the parties submissions, said that as the FCA’s involvement would “promote the interest of justice”, he would allow the regulator to intervene on a “limited basis”.

The decision comes at a time when many other cases with similar issues have come to the fore.

In February, the High Court approved a group litigation order to claims against Berkley Burke Sipp Administration. In that case, it is alleged that the provider breached the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in the establishment of SIPPs, after unregulated third-party firms advised their clients to transfer their traditional or occupational pension funds to a Berkeley Burke Sipp, investing in a variety of high-risk schemes.

The FCA has reportedly taken an interest in these cases, due to the questions raised about the responsibility that Sipp providers have to investors when the underlying investments go sour.

Here at Cooper Stern, we have the expertise to advise individuals and businesses on potentially mis-sold SIPPs and bad pensions advice. If you would like to speak to a member of the Cooper Stern team, use our online enquiry form or call us on 01204 328 287.