Liberty SIPP goes into administration

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Claim-embroiled pension provider Liberty SIPP has entered administration following a number of high-risk non-standard investment claims against it.

The company was advised it was insolvent based on the number of claims against it and advised to enter administration to protect any creditors, including former customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said potential claimants will still be able to claims against Liberty SIPP, but those claims would go straight to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Andrew Poxton and Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis have been appointed as joint administrators of the business.

The Liberty SIPP business and customer assets were sold to EBS Pensions – part of Embark Group – in October 2018. The Liberty SIPP legal entity was not part of the sale, however.

Solicitors Anthony Philip James & Co said they issued some 500 cases to the Financial Ombudsman Service against the firm in 2018 after alleging clients had lost money after investing with the pension provider.

APJ alleged Liberty SIPP failed in its duty to treat customers fairly by accepting a high volume of clients who were unsuitable for SIPP investments from an unregulated introducer.

At the time, the firm’s then-managing director John Fox (pictured) said: “Another week, another misleading press release from a claims management company attacking the financial services industry.”