For the last few years, mis-sold PPIs have dominated the headlines. Now, it looks as though another investment scandal is firmly taking root in the UK – the mis-selling of SIPPs.
If you’re concerned that you may have been mis-sold an investment product, read on.
What is a SIPP?
A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) lets you have more control over the investments you put your savings into, rather than your company deciding for you. In theory, they’re a good option for those who want to collate their pensions into a single ‘pot’ for their retirement, or who want to keep the cash invested so it generates an income when they no longer earn a salary.
However, as many people across the country are discovering, SIPPs come with risks attached. Many investors were not made aware of these risks before they committed, which has led to a recent surge in mis-selling claims.
The start of the crisis
At the beginning of 2019, The Sunday Times referred to the SIPPs situation as “the dawn of a new mis-selling scandal”. Industry regulators are quick to correct them – they’ve been warning people about it for years.
Many experts regard Berkeley Burke’s case as the time when the SIPPs scandal first rose to public attention. The SIPP provider lost an ongoing FOS case in 2018, and experts believe that this encouraged others to make claims against their SIPP firms.
Expats at risk
One demographic that’s been badly hit by this scandal is the expats in Spain. It’s estimated that around 70,000 British pensioners have been mis-sold their SIPPs products. Brexit uncertainties have led expats to worry that their pensions will fall after the UK leaves the EU – and this is how many have discovered that their SIPPs aren’t worth as much as they thought they were.
Unfortunately, rogue independent financial advisors actively targeted the retired British community in Spain, and much of their advice was inadequate or inaccurate. This may leave several expats seriously out of pocket.
Billions of pounds of poorly sold SIPPs
Experts believe that around £10 billion worth of SIPPs investments have been mis-sold to people in the UK alone. The government has set aside £120 million to compensate victims, with a maximum sum of £50,000 being allocated. This is predicted to rise to £85,000 over the forthcoming months.
Have you been mis-sold a SIPP?
If you invested in a scheme that was unusual, such as a burial plot, car park or forestry, this should set alarm bells ringing. Other classic examples include farmland, holiday resorts, or unlisted shares. Exotic or non-standard investments are often mis-sold, resulting in a serious loss of funds.
Likewise, if you felt that the product was not explained adequately to you, or that you were pressured into agreeing to the investment, this is another indicator of mis-selling. If you’re concerned, it makes sense to get in touch with Goodwin Barrett, and we’ll investigate the matter further for you.