Five cases issued against SIPP administrator Guinness Mahon

Victoria McKeever reports...

Financial mis-selling solicitors Anthony Philip James & Co (APJ) said it has issued five cases against self-invested personal pension (SIPP) administrator Guinness Mahon.

The five claimants alleged Guinness Mahon worked with unregulated introducers to facilitate SIPP investments into unsuitable non-standard assets.

The cases relate to investments between 2013 and 2016 into schemes including Ethical Forestry and Global Plantations.

APJ said it was preparing to issue a further 20 cases against the SIPP administrator in the coming weeks, which it believed to be the largest number of cases issued against Guinness Mahon.

APJ solicitor Glyn Taylor said: “In 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued guidance reminding SIPP providers of their regulatory responsibilities in relation to SIPP investments, including a responsibility to treat customers fairly and undertake due diligence on the unregulated introducer and high-risk investments.

“The position of SIPP operators and unregulated introducers has been of concern to the FCA since the establishment of a SIPP became regulated on the 6 April 2007.”

He continued: “What is also of great concern is that, while some SIPP operators heeded the warnings made by the FCA in not allowing investors to invest in non-standard assets within a SIPP, what is clear in all our cases is that Guinness Mahon allowed high-risk non-standard investments to be made through the SIPP until 2016 – long after the FCA highlighted that high-risk investments were unsuitable for retail customers.”

In addition to the cases against Guinness Mahon, APJ said it was also acting in 30 cases against under-fire provider Liberty SIPP, as well as cases against Berkeley Burke.

“In total, we’re currently working with over 1,500 clients in relation to mis-sold SIPPs,” added Taylor. “It’s clear Guinness Mahon is not alone in not abiding by the regulations required by the FCA and, as a result, a large number of investors have suffered.

“We believe the current cases on our books are only the tip of the iceberg in relation to mis-selling of SIPP investments.”

Professional Adviser has contacted Guinness Mahon for comment.