Bank House Investment Management
Bank House Investment Management (BHIM) was a Cheltenham-based financial advisory firm directed by Robert Ward and Tristam Freer. They offered pension review and advisory services to customers looking to get more out of their pension funds.
In 2014 and 2015 the Financial Conduct Authority had cause to visit BHIM, after growing concerned about the standard of pension advice the firm was offering.
Following these investigations, the FCA served notices to the firm prohibiting them from giving advice on the transfer of SIPP funds to any Unregulated Collective Investment Scheme (UCIS). The FCA found that while BHIM promised a premium service, it appeared they had in fact outsourced large portions of their processes to unauthorised third parties, notably Hennessy Jones Limited, City Administration Limited, and Holistic Wealth Management. There was little oversight from BHIM on the actions of these third parties and the quality of the advice they were giving out to customers.
Shockingly, Bank House chose to ignore the FCA’s ban and continued to recommend SIPP transfers into UCIS until they were finally banned from conducting any regulated business by the FCA in 2016. They were subsequently declared as being in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in April 2017.
In May 2019, the FCA made their Decision Notice against Bank House Investment Management public, issuing a penalty of £311,639 against the firm, and a further £140,825 against its directors.