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Dolphin Trust GmbH Warns Investors of up to 12 month Payment Delays

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Have you been advised to invest your pension fund in Dolphin Trust GmbH?

Dolphin Trust GmbH is an investment scheme specialising in the development of German listed buildings, promising returns of 10% to its investors. The scheme is commonly available to investors via a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and often follows recommendations made by an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

However, the investment is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the bonds under the scheme are only payable on maturity after either two or five years.

In a letter to investors dated 2nd October 2019, Dolphin Trust GmbH confirmed that it was rebranding to the name German Property Group GmbH. Worryingly, they also warned investors that maturity payments could be held up by up to a year.  In the letter, Chief Executive, Charles Smethurst states:

“it is likely that maturity payments will be delayed by up to 12 months.” He goes on to blame this on wider factors such as “finalising building permits and legal titles, and arranging third parties such as constructors.” To reassure understandably anxious investors, he adds: “I must stress at this juncture that your capital investment is not at risk.”

TLW’s specialist financial mis-selling solicitors are regularly contacted by worried investors who have not yet received the returns promised from the scheme or who are struggling to get their capital investment back. Many did not realise and were not made aware by their financial adviser, that schemes like this can be high risk.

The TLW team have therefore been monitoring developments closely and as highlighted in our last Dolphin Trust GmbH blog, they confirmed that “no further interest payments” would be made to investors for the next 3 months. Instead, the interest will be paid in full at the end of the investment period. They also advised that they were “in discussions about the possible sale of properties where such a sale would be more financially beneficial to our clients than continuing with development ourselves.”

The maturity payment delays, interest problems and possible sale of properties that have not yet been developed, build a concerning picture for investors in terms of the returns they were expecting, whether there will be any financial losses and if so, the extent of those losses.

The latest letter appears to confirm the findings of an investigation by BBC Radio 4 which was featured on their “You and Yours” programme in May 2019.

The BBC investigation pointed out that some of the properties to be renovated and converted were unsuitable and would require far more investment than was projected. The report also questioned why investors had no details about the specific investment properties or information about commissions paid on these transactions.

To hear the full BBC programme, follow this link and log into BBC iPlayer.

Given his financial mis-selling experience, TLW partner Peter McKenna was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme “You and Yours” and following this latest letter to investors, Peter comments:

“We have been contacted by many investors concerned about the viability of the scheme and this is just another worrying development. The level of commissions which was paid to those who introduced investors to Dolphin was, as we understand, around 15% – 25% of the amount invested and therefore a large proportion of the investors money was lost straight away.

Add to this the returns which investors were expecting, then it is easy to see why people are concerned.

If you or a loved one have invested your pension, or part of it, with Dolphin Trust GmbH (now known as German Property Group) and are worried about your investment and the financial advice that you received, please get in touch with TLW Solicitors for a no-obligation discussion to see if we can help you.

TLW Solicitors are experienced in claiming no win no fee compensation for clients who have invested their pension funds in high-risk unregulated investment products via a SIPP. TLW’s specialist lawyers can also pursue a claim even if the IFA has gone out of business.

In such cases, as well as being entitled to claim towards the amount which you invested, you may be able to claim:

  • Fees are paid to the IFA and SIPP company which arranged your investment.
  • The money you would have made if your pension/savings had remained where they were.

To get in touch with one of the specialist financial mis-selling lawyers here at TLW Solicitors call us on 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete our callback form.

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Meet Peter, Peter is a TLW Partner and Director of the Financial Mis-Selling team.

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“The level of commissions which was paid to those who introduced investors to Dolphin was, as we understand, around 15% – 25% of the amount invested and therefore a large proportion of the investors’ money was lost straight away.”

Peter McKenna