In rulings made by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), three directors of Tailormade Independent have been banned from holding senior roles within financial services, as well as facing fines of up to £166,000.
According to the FCA, directors Robert Shaw, Lloyd Pope and Peter Legerton failed to ensure that SIPP investments recommended by Tailormade were suitable for investors, as well as failing to make sure that the firm identified and properly managed conflicts of interest. As a result, many SIPP pension holders have been left out of pocket.
A self-invested personal pension, or ‘SIPP’, enables individuals to create their own personal pension pot by gathering together investments of their choice. For some people, SIPP pensions are useful for drawing together a wide variety of investments or personal pensions into one place, and can allow individuals greater control over the types of investments they choose to enter into. However, SIPP pensions are not suitable for everyone, and in some cases individuals have been advised to enter into investments which have put their funds at risk.
What went wrong with Tailormade Independent?
Tailormade Independent advised customers to transfer their existing pension funds into a number of unregulated SIPP investments, comprised of products such as biofuels, green oil, farmland and overseas property, including properties built by the now liquidated firm Harlequin.
Many of the investment products recommended by Tailormade were not permitted under customers’ existing pension schemes, and came with substantial risk. In October 2013, Tailormade went into liquidation, with many customers facing lost pension funds.
As a regulatory body, the FCA has stepped in, declaring that directors Mr Shaw, Mr Pope and Mr Legerton failed to consider the suitability of investment products for customers, as well as failing to disclose the firm’s engagement in activities which posed a conflict of interests.
Mr Shaw in particular received substantial financial benefits by acting as a director and shareholder for Tailormade Alternative Investments, which was an unregulated organisation designed to refer clients to Tailormade Independent.
All three directors now face bans from entering senior financial roles, as well as substantial fines, but this does not change the fact that many customers are still suffering a significant financial loss.
If you have invested in a SIPP pension with Tailormade Independent and have lost out financially, TLW Solicitors are here to help on a no-win no-fee basis.
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