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Troubled Pension Provider, Intelligent Money, enters into Administration


In May 2024, SIPP operator Intelligent Money fell into administration following substantial financial liabilities facing the firm as a result of numerous complaints relating to specific investments it permitted.

The directors’ decision to enter into administration came after the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the government backed body set up to investigate disputes between financial businesses and their clients, upheld a complaint that Intelligent Money had failed to undertake sufficient due diligence checks in respect of potential investments and had therefore exposed the complainant to substantial financial risk.

Over 80 similar complaints have reportedly been made against the Nottingham-based financial advisers.

In February 2024, Intelligent Money agreed to an asset restriction following a notice on the FCA register. This is a severe measure imposed by City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means that Intelligent Money could not dispose of, withdraw, or diminish any of its assets without the FCA’s consent. Such a restriction significantly limits a firm’s financial operations and impacts its ability to meet its obligations.

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (or SIPP) is a type of pension that allows individuals to save, invest, and grow a fund for retirement. It’s similar to a standard personal pension, but with a SIPP, there’s more flexibility in the choice of investments and can be a tax-efficient investment for retirement.

SIPP operators like Intelligent Money are regulated by the FCA to ensure consumers’ money is properly protected by the companies they entrust it to. Under FCA requirements, SIPP firms must undertake sufficient due diligence checks before allowing their clients to invest in a SIPP, including ensuring that the proposed investment is suitable for the client’s needs and aligns with the level of risk they are comfortable with.

In the final decision that led Intelligent Money’s directors to appoint administrators, FOS noted significant failings in Intelligent Money’s due diligence processes. It found that the firm had not protected the complainant’s money and had allowed unsuitable, high-risk investments that caused him significant losses. The case involved the collapsed financial advice firm Active Wealth, which was at the centre of the British Steel Pension scandal. FOS had previously declared that Intelligent Money’s initial and ongoing due diligence had been inadequate when administering Active Wealth SIPPs for clients.

FOS ordered Intelligent Money to pay £160,000 in compensation to the complainant. This award, together with the compensation that may be due to the additional 80 complainants ,and any others that come to light, led to the company’s directors placing Intelligent Money into administration.

During its administration, Intelligent Money’s pension business and assets were transferred to the pension administrator Quai Administration Services Limited (Quai). Quai has sought to reassure investors that the deal will ensure stability and continuity of service. Customers can continue to make decisions regarding their investments and contribute to and withdraw from their accounts just as before.

Crucially, however, Intelligent Money’s liabilities were not transferred under the deal, so investors cannot claim against Quai for any losses sustained as a result of Intelligent Money’s failures. Instead, they may be able to lodge a claim with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), a government backed lifeboat body that pays compensation to consumers when a FCA regulated financial firm goes out of business or otherwise fails.

Since Intelligent Money is now in administration, you can’t make a claim against it. However, the FSCS is accepting claims from Intelligent Money customers, warning however that its investigations into Intelligent Money will be complex and will likely take some time, so investors who are eligible to claim may have to wait a while to recover their compensation, which is capped at £85,000.

Sarah Spruce, Legal Director and Head of the professional negligence and financial mis-selling team at TLW Solicitors, commented:

“Given the recent developments, if you or a loved one received advice from Intelligent Money and are worried about your pension investments, then I encourage you to get in touch with a member of our specialist pension mis-selling team for a no obligation discussion.

“We can take full details about your case and advise whether you may have the basis of a ‘no win, no fee’ refund claim.

“We have many years of experience in bringing successful FSCS claims on behalf of our clients. Even with the £85,000 limit, using our expertise, we can investigate the possibility of making additional claims, potentially substantially increasing the amount of compensation you receive. These cases are often technically challenging and time-consuming, so it is important to have professionals in your corner when making a claim.”

At TLW Solicitors, we are specialists in pursuing financial mis-selling claims on behalf of investors. We firmly believe that anyone who has suffered losses as a result of mis-selling should be entitled to claim compensation, regardless of their financial situation. That’s why we act for our clients on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. We have extensive expertise in all aspects of financial mis-selling claims, including complaining to FOS, claiming through the FSCS and, where necessary, initiating Court proceedings.

If you are concerned that you or someone you care about may suffer losses as a result of Intelligent Money’s failings or face any other type of financial mis-selling issue, our specialist lawyers are here to help. If you have an actionable refund claim, we will pursue it rigorously on your behalf, keep you fully up to date and guide you through the process throughout.

Please call us on 0800 169 5925, email us at info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete one of the online forms below.

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