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Douglas Baillie Ltd and The Pension Specialist

Douglas Baillie Ltd and The Pension Specialist

The collapse of Douglas Baillie Ltd in 2016 came about as a result of an all-too familiar pattern of events. Innocent investors, often those of a certain age and seeking to increase their pension holdings before retirement, were persuaded into transferring their money into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) without really understanding the potential risks they might be facing.

Advice was given to them by advisors and introducers, many of whom were unregulated. A number of these were cold callers who had a persuasive patter and offered all manner of good reasons for trusting their advice. The investments often proved to be extremely underwhelming, despite in some cases promising supposedly guaranteed yields that were too tempting to turn down.

The collapse left many people in its wake, all of whom lost a substantial sum of money. It’s estimated that around 9,000 men and women lost out, although of course there could be many more. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received a great many complaints about Douglas Baillie Ltd and The Pension Specialist in regard to the nature of their investments.

In 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took away the company’s right to provide pension transfer advice, although this wasn’t enough to prevent its eventual collapse. There were a number of investment schemes involved in the Douglas Baillie case, including:

Green Oil Plantations
Harlequin Resorts
Store First Storage Pods
The Resort Group

These schemes were unregulated, and as such they represented a degree of risk to the investor that he or she may not have been aware of. There has been a great deal of argument in the industry about where the responsibility for investigating the suitability of such schemes should lie, but a recent landmark court ruling declared very firmly that it should lie with companies such as Douglas Baillie Ltd.

Sales pitches that sounded wonderful but proved disastrous

Of course, those investors who have lost their money will be regretting the day they ever heard from their advisors and introducers. Up until then, their money had been held safely and securely in regulated pension schemes that offered very little in the way of risk. Then along came a smooth-talking salesperson with a slick presentation and a persuasive tone, and before they knew it their money was gone.

It’s worth noting that these people were all hoping to make their retirement years a little more comfortable, and perhaps to leave a little more behind for their loved ones. These weren’t mega-rich individuals trying to add to their already impressive wealth, they were ordinary men and women who had worked hard all their lives and were now looking forward to some well-earned relaxation.

Companies like Douglas Baillie Ltd could and should have done more to protect their clients’ investments. They should have carried out assessments of their financial circumstances before advising them to transfer their pension pots into SIPPs. They should also have investigated the viability of the schemes they were persuading people to invest in. They didn’t do these adequately, and now it appears that hundreds of millions of pounds has been lost as a consequence.

Here at Beat the Banks, we have the experience and the know-how to handle compensation claims in regard to mis-sold pensions and poor pension advice. We know the industry inside out, we construct robust cases and we offer a sympathetic and understanding ear to the victims of these schemes.

To find out more about how we can help, simply complete the online contact form or call the team on 0800 193 1234 and have a friendly, no obligation chat with someone who knows what you’ve been through. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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