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Door Opens for FSCS Claims as Corporate & Professional Pensions Enters Administration

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Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) operator, Corporate & Professional Pensions Limited has gone into administration following a series of Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) decisions which left the company unable to repay complaining investors.

What went wrong?

The Ombudsman had received numerous complaints relating to investments going back more than 10 years. Issues raised included a lack of due diligence by Corporate & Professional when accepting SIPP investments into their portfolio. Some of the decisions upheld by FOS related to a company called Sustainable AgroEnergy, which invested in trees grown in Cambodia. The firm was unregulated and later went into receivership following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office leaving clients with worthless investments.

FOS found that Corporate & Professional had failed in their duty of care to investors, including meeting the stringent practice standards of City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. Had the firm acted properly, high risk, unregulated funds with firms such as Sustainable AgroEnergy would never have been offered to investors and in turn, they would not have lost out.

There have been a number of similar FOS decisions recently, all centred around due diligence. Normally, anyone concerned about their investment would make a complaint to the Ombudsman, who would then consider all the evidence and decide whether or not any compensation was due.

Given that Corporate & Professional Pensions is now in administration, investors will instead need to approach the Government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to see if they may be owed compensation. The FSCS helps victims of failed financial firms and can award up to £85,000 in compensation.

Investors who have claims already with FOS will hear from the Ombudsman directly regarding the next steps. In relation to existing investments, the FCA’s website confirms:

“Although Corporate & Professional is in administration, it remains an FCA-authorised firm and is still subject to our rules. It can continue to operate existing pensions whilst the administrators look for a new operator.”

Head of Professional Negligence at TLW Solicitors, Sarah Spruce said:

“News that the FSCS is now investigating Corporate & Professional claims is good for their customers who may have lost out as they can hopefully get some compensation. Given the strict FCA rules, none of them should have been advised to invest in high-risk schemes like overseas forestry and it is reassuring to see that FOS are taking seriously the importance of due diligence at every stage of an investor’s journey. If you have any ongoing complaints or had investments with Corporate & Professional, please feel free to contact TLW Solicitors’ Professional Negligence Team for a no-obligation discussion to see if we can help.”

Working on a ‘no win – no fee’ basis, TLW’s experienced team can help you through the FSCS compensation process. Our clients are reassured by our knowledge and experience of FSCS procedures and, indeed, we have had FSCS claims successfully upheld for clients whose claims had previously been refused on purely technical grounds. Find out more about FSCS claims here.

If you are concerned about your, a friend, or a loved one’s investment in Corporate & Professional Pensions, please get in touch with TLW Solicitors today by calling 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete our call back form.

Time limits can apply and so anyone wishing to bring a claim should do so without delay.

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