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Liberty SIPP

Liberty Sipp

Liberty Sipp, formed in 2007, was a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) provider that ended up in hot water following revelations of a lack of due diligence on unregulated investments in their SIPP portfolio.

Allegations of mis-selling

The company grew rapidly following the introduction of their Liberty Option Sipp back in 2013. With no setup fees and minimal annual management fees, there’s no surprise it saw a surge in recommendations from pension advisors. 

However, behind Liberty’s success story lies a darker past. Allegations of mis-selling SIPPs between 2011 and 2013 saw Liberty Sipp sold to the Embark Group in October 2018 in a deal whereby Embark acquired Liberty’s assets, as opposed to the entire business, leaving liability for claims with Liberty Sipp while it’s in the process of winding down.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has since ruled in favour of numerous complaints against Liberty concerning their failure to apply a required level of due diligence in their business. This applied to both accepting pension funds into their SIPP from unregulated introducers such as Avacade, and also by permitting these funds to be invested in unregulated, unsuitable and high-risk schemes such as:

A high proportion of the complaints upheld by the FOS have involved investments made on the advice of Avacade, and the FOS has predicted that there was “a high chance that a lot, if not all, of the business introduced by Avacade, would contain a high risk of significant consumer detriment”.

SIPP providers cannot evade responsibility

Liberty, like other SIPP providers such as Berkeley Burke, have previously defended their practices by arguing that they accepted business on an “execution-only basis” and therefore weren’t liable for investor losses. However, the FOS has stated that SIPP providers had a responsibility towards their clients which they could not evade.

If you transferred your pension to Liberty Sipp on the recommendation of your financial adviser or mortgage broker and lost money, Beat the Banks are here to help. Irrespective of whether they were regulated or not, you could be entitled to claim for compensation. To find out more call 0800 193 1234 for a free, no-obligation chat with one of our claims specialists.

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