Did you invest your pension with Guinness Mahon?
Guinness Mahon is a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) provider who has faced action from the Financial Ombudsman Service for accepting clients from unregulated introducers, and investing these individuals’ pension funds into unsuitable, high-risk investments.
Many of these pension holders were unaware of the risks being taken with their money until it was too late – if this sounds like you, you may be entitled to compensation.
Biased pension reviews
Like so many other cases, victims were initially targeted by an unregulated introducer – in this instance Avacade. Typically pension holders approaching retirement age, they were offered free pension reviews by Avacade’s sales people. Invariably, these reviews found that the pension holder’s current arrangements were inadequate and Avacade recommended the SIPPs operated by Guinness Mahon as a better deal.
An investigation by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) later discovered that the pension reviews offered by Avacade were not balanced and “had the clear aim of getting the client to transfer”.
Guiness Mahon used several independent financial advisors (IFAs) to sign off pension transfers for the clients they received from Avacade, and from there invested funds in several Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS), including:
Unfortunately for their clients, many of these investments did not pay out the returns they were promised, and in some cases failed all together. They were left paying hefty fees with little hope of recovering their hard-earned funds.
High-risk investments following unregulated advice
In 2018 and 2019, at least seven cases against Guinness Mahon were brought to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) concerning high-risk pension investments made following unregulated advice. The FOS upheld the cases, ruling that Avacade was not authorised to provide pension advice and that – given Avacade’s business model – Guinness Mahon should have been more cautious when accepting business from them.
Guinness Mahon argued they accepted business from Avacade on an “execution only” basis. However, the FOS stated that SIPP providers had a “duty of care” when accepting clients from unregulated introducers and Guinness Mahon had failed in this respect.
If you were persuaded to transfer your pension into a SIPP operated by Guinness Mahon, or a similar provider, and lost money as a result of high-risk investments you may be entitled to compensation. Our team at Beat the Banks are ready to help you make a claim – call us on 0800 193 1234 to find out what we can do for you.