After Stirling Mortimer invested tens of millions of pounds worth of UK savers’ money into unregulated ‘right to purchase’ contracts, 24 Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) firms are now in default.
The firms have gained this status from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as they are unable to pay the redress they are liable for after the investments they secured fell through.
Although many believe problematic investment schemes are easy to avoid, the fact that the FSCS are actively preparing for a rise in self-invested personal pension advice claims this year shows the true scale of the issue.
Due to poor financial advice, many investors have lost significant amounts of money. Some have found themselves encouraged by their advisers to invest in risky assets such as those offered by Stirling Mortimer.
The majority of Stirling Mortimer investments began before the financial crisis, during a boom in property development. The available cells included properties throughout Spain and the Majestic Village in Casares, as well as plots in Morocco and Cape Verde.
The intention was to sell these as ‘fractional ownership’ schemes which are similar to timeshares.
The Financial Ombudsman Service ruled against advisors who recommended investors to Stirling Mortimer cell funds, claiming, “[the] funds could not reasonably be described as anything other than high risk”.
Unsurprisingly, Stirling Mortimer has since struggled to find buyers for the properties, and hundreds of people are now severely out of pocket, having invested in the belief that the investments were low-risk or in some cases, ‘risk-free’.
The truth of the matter is that anyone can be a victim of financial mis-selling. Trusted advisers can often underestimate or purposely gloss over the risks involved in some of the investments they recommend.
Financial advisers are trusted with personal savings and pensions worth thousands or even millions of pounds. For many investors, the realisation that their trust has been exploited only arrives after significant financial losses.
Financial mis-selling can see hard-earned savings, pensions or property capital disappear overnight, with many left struggling to repay re-mortgages, loans or even the cost of everyday necessities as a result.
Your financial advisor has a duty to ensure the investment is regulated correctly and suitable for your needs. In some cases, advisers invest money on their client’s behalf in extremely high-risk schemes when, once properly investigated, they are set to fail from the outset.
If you have been mis-sold a Stirling Mortimer property fund scheme, or any other type of investment which has gone wrong, you don’t have to suffer alone. You could be entitled to compensation and TLW Solicitors are here to help you on a no-win, no-fee basis.
If you believe you have been negligently advised, we advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
- Always fight your corner.
- Explain anything you don't understand.
- Provide full transparency on our charges.
- Never ask for any upfront payment.
- Recover the best compensation we can.
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- Respond quickly to any queries.