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TailorMade Independent & the TailorMade group

The TailorMade group were an assortment of companies that worked together to persuade UK pension-holders to transfer their pensions and invest their funds into high-risk investment schemes, many of which ended in disaster. 

Hundreds of unsuspecting victims lost a significant portion – if not all – of their hard-earned savings at the hands of this corrupt group of organisations. If this sounds like you, you may be entitled to compensation and Beat the Banks can help you claim it.

Extortionate fees and huge commissions

The TailorMade group comprised of TailorMade Financial Solutions, which was an appointed representative of Openwork (previously Zurich Advice Network) from 2003 until March 2014, and functioned as the advice arm of the group.

The other two members were TailorMade SIPP and TailorMade Alternative Investments (TMIA). The latter being an unregulated introducer that cold-called pension holders offering free pension reviews designed to convince their targets to transfer their pensions. Once on board, these new clients were passed to TailorMade Independent (TMI).

Between January 2010 and January 2013, TMI gave advice to 1,661 clients that saw them invest £112.4m into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and illiquid Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS) such as green oil, biofuels, farmland and overseas property. 

More than half were recommended to invest in Harlequin, the failed Caribbean hotel and leisure venture. Following an investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) determined none of these 923 investors received advice on whether the overseas property investments were suitable.

Close working relationship between companies in the TailorMade Group meant that after receiving clients from TMIA, TMI only then advised on the suitability of transferring pensions into SIPPs. Next, clients were passed back to TMIA to arrange for their funds to be used for alternative investment products (UCIS) which came with considerable introducer commissions – a fact the FCA established was never disclosed to pension holders.

To make matters worse, the initial and ongoing fees applied by TMI added to what was already a hugely profitable operation. The FCA found that clients could be charged a fee of £1,000 on every single transfer, rising to a colossal minimum of £1,500 or 3% (whichever was higher) if the transfer involved a defined benefit pension scheme. Incredibly, it was also found that in excess of 90% of TMI’s clients also paid between 1% and 1.25% in annual ongoing advice fees.

Fined and banned by the FCA

Given this evidence, it’s no surprise the FCA have since fined and banned former TailorMade Independent CEO, Alistair Burns, along with his fellow directors – Lloyd Pope, Robert Shaw and Peter Legerton. Ultimately, the company was declared as being in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in July 2014 following the decision by the directors to wind TMI up.

If you had dealings with the TailorMade Group with regards to pension transfers or pension investments and lost money, the team at Beat the Banks would like to hear from you. Our claims experts can examine your case to establish if you are entitled to compensation. They will then support you through the claims process to help you recover your money. Call us on 0800 193 1234 to take the first steps to seek the justice you deserve.

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