Welcome to Beat the Banks

Find Us

87 Commercial Street,

Dundee DD1 2AB

Self Invested Personal Pension Providers

Self Invested Personal Pension Providers

SIPPs, or self-invested personal pensions, are a type of government approved personal pension that allows the pension holder the freedom to choose exactly where they would like to invest their funds.

Generally speaking, SIPPs are for the more knowledgeable, sophisticated and affluent investor. They have also become the vehicle of choice for pension scammers. Between 2009 and 2012, and then from 2014 until 2017, unscrupulous companies and often unregulated advisers have persuaded thousands of pension holders to move some or all of their perfectly safe and adequately performing pensions into SIPPs and then, in turn, into unregulated investments. Pension holders have seen their funds stripped via substantial commissions and in many cases, their whole investment lost.

SIPP providers make their money by charging administration fees. These may be only a few hundred pounds each year but get enough of these on your book and it can all amount to be a substantial residual income paid through the lifetime of the SIPP. Unfortunately, we now know that may SIPP providers were poorly run and, in many cases, it’s now apparent that there was little, if any, due diligence on the paperwork transferring pensions in and, indeed, the investments out of the SIPP.

Some SIPP providers have already been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and more are teetering on the brink, with many more known to have a raft of claims against them.


* These fields are required.

Hall of Shame

In an interview given in August 2011, Tony Hales, the outspoken former director of the now-defunct SIPP operator Stadia Trustees Limited, announced that “even to an unsophisticated investor, it appears to make sense to be in commodities.” He acknowledged that mainstream investor providers were keen to get in on the action, but with an increasing number of unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS), the competition for investor funds was becoming fierce.
He went on to add that he was confident that Stadia Trustees and the necessary systems and controls in place to ensure clients investing in UCIS had both access to an IFA and were completely aware of the level of risk involved. He was keen to add that Stadia Trustees was actively undertaking due diligence and physically visiting some of the unregulated investments to make sure they were acceptable and not scams or Ponzi schemes.

Earlier in 2011, the FSA, concerned about the risks surrounding UCIS, asked small SIPP providers like Stadia Trustees Limited to complete a questionnaire covering their legal structures and also their capital adequacy provisions. Subsequently, in the September, the FSA announced plans to visit eight of the small SIPP providers. Included in the list was Stadia Trustees Limited.

In January 2013, the FSA issued another warning over the sale of UCIS and confirmed that it was investigating a number of SIPP providers. Just one month later, Stadia Trustees announced it would no longer accept new business while it underwent structural change. Hales was quick to add that it was a voluntary and short-term move.

Unfortunately, the writing was very much on the wall and in January 2018, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared Stadia Trustees along with Brooklands Trustees and Montpelier Pension Administration Services Limited to be in default. This meant they were adjudged to no longer have the financial wherewithal to meet claims. Despite the earlier due diligence promises of Tony Hales, the common theme was one of failure by each of the SIPP providers in how they established, operated and administered SIPPs through which allowed consumers to transfer their pension funds into non-standard investments such as storage pods, oil fields, diamonds and overseas property.

If you have been unfortunate enough to transfer your pension into a SIPP with Stadia Trustees Limited, Beat the Banks are here to help and depending on how and when the advice was given and the parties involved, you may even able to submit more than one claim. To find out more simply complete our enquiry form or call our expert team on 01382 200474.

Established in March 2006, Brooklands Trustees lapsed into administration in July 2016 by which time the Brooklands SIPP had 5,500 members from all over the world and funds under management of £650 million. A pre-pack arrangement realised £425,000 and saw their Sipp book sold to Heritage Pensions.

So where did it all go spectacularly wrong? Well, Brooklands policy was to only accept business from advisers who held an introducer agreement with them. One such business was FCP Insurance Consultants who were signed up in 2009 and, incredibly, had no authorisation from the UK Regulator to provide pension advice. Their favoured destination for SIPP funds was the LMMP fund (LM Managed Performance fund) – an Australian Property Fund which paid a tidy 9% up-front commission.

It was a classic case of the horse already bolting from the stable when it dawned on Brooklands that FCP Insurance Consultants were not actually authorised. Undaunted, FCP then simply agreed a ‘piggyback’ deal in late 2012 with UK-regulated firm Universal Wealth Management (UWM) allowing them the route to continue introducing even more deals. Extensively sold to expats all over the world, the LMMP fund finally collapsed in spectacular style in 2013, with investors told they were likely to receive no more than 5p for every £1 previously invested.

The whole sorry tale and the failure to apply basic due diligence on an unregulated introducer saw Brooklands enter administration in August 2016, following 20 claims totalling £1.6m being upheld against them by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Finally, in January 2018, Brooklands, along with Stadia Trustees Limited and Montpelier Pension Administration Services Limited, were declared to be in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS reported combined claims for all three being in the region of 150, with significantly more claims expected through 2018/19.

If you have been unfortunate enough to transfer your pension into a Brooklands SIPP, Beat the Banks are here to help. To find out more, simply complete our enquiry form or call our expert team on 01382 200474.

Originally incorporated in 1989, The Lifetime SIPP Company was to become yet another SIPP provider bedazzled by rapid profit growth, as opposed to applying a stroke of due diligence on introducers and adequately monitoring the dangerous growth within its funds under investment of unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS).

In April 2018, despite having just sold 40% of its SIPPs to Hartley Pensions, The Lifetime SIPP Company entered administration via Kingston Smith and Partners who immediately began reporting on the debacle. The talk was of “tainted” assets where their underlying investment value had been eroded and of existing claims in the pipeline of £56 million, with more expected to follow. The number of SIPPs on their books numbered close to 5000, with the “tainted” tranche numbering an incredible 2018 – 42.5% of the total number held. Harlequin Hotels and Resorts an asset now valued at zero by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) featured heavily along with the likes of The Resort Group as well as farmland and forestry schemes too. With this as a backdrop, it’s little wonder the clock is ticking away on The Lifetime Sipp Company joining the number of Sipp providers already having been declared as being on default by the FSCS.

If you’ve been recommended by your financial adviser, irrespective of if they were properly authorised to give pension transfer advice or not, to transfer your pension into a Lifetime SIPP and you have lost money, Beat the Banks are here to help. To find out more, simply complete our enquiry form or call our expert team on 01382 200474.

Sign up to Beat the Banks Newsletter

I have read and agree to the terms & conditions
  • Mrs C, Glasgow

    “From beginning to end, Beat the Banks have been very efficient. I am very pleased with the service from Jenna and the team. I am highly delighted and I have been recommending all of my friends.”

  • Shona, Dundee

    “Huge thank you to the team. After attempting to claim PPI myself and getting absolutely nowhere, I got Beat the Banks involved and ended up getting  £12,000. What a result. Beat the Banks made it so easy and were committed right to the end.”

  • Mr A McQuillian

    “From previous experience of PPI claim companies, I was a bit dubious if anyone could help me but I thought I would try Beat The Banks. To say I am pleased with the service and conclusion to my claim is an understatement. Beat the banks and my claim handler in particular handled all aspects of the claim from Clydesdale Bank with professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency to secure a positive result on my behalf. I would certainly recommend the services of Beat the Banks to anyone who thinks they have PPI claim, especially with the Clydesdale Bank.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “I was apprehensive about using a company to claim my PPI as I had previously responded to a “cold call” and was pestered with calls. I heard about Beat The Banks on a local radio station and because they were based in Scotland I felt comfortable approaching them. I have had a very positive experience with Beat The Banks. They are not pushy and answer any queries timeously. All the Agents I have spoken to were knowledgeable, polite and friendly. After the initial information gathering conversation, they understood my needs and just got on with my claim. No hassle. Even when it was clear that my claim was of a relatively low value they processed without delay. I would definitely recommend using Beat The Banks …. they put all the other companies out there to shame.”

  • T & A, Dundee

    “Down entirely to Mike’s hard work, we previously had a successful claim with Clydesdale Bank. Mike was convinced we had more loans with PPI and he was relentless in efforts to recover our paperwork from the bank. Finally, after many attempts, enough records were recovered to submit several claims. We have now received much more compensation, covering loans going back many, many years. If it had not been for Mike and the team at Beat the Banks this would never, ever have happened. Literally, all we did was sign our name and bank the cheque.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “I was apprehensive about using a company to claim my PPI as I had previously responded to a “cold call” and was pestered with calls. I heard about Beat The Banks on a local radio station and because they were based in Scotland I felt comfortable approaching them. I have had a very positive experience with Beat The Banks. They are not pushy and answer any queries timeously. All the Agents I have spoken to were knowledgeable, polite and friendly. After the initial information gathering conversation, they understood my needs and just got on with my claim. No hassle. Even when it was clear that my claim was of a relatively low value they processed without delay. I would definitely recommend using Beat The Banks …. they put all the other companies out there to shame.”

  • Mr & Mrs M, Shetland

    “We really appreciate the doggedness and professionalism of Jenna and the team at Beat the Banks. This is something we’d never have gotten round to doing and we’re so glad we went through the process with professionals as we’ve now had great results. Only positives have come from the experience.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “Excellent service so helpful, I received a substantial sum back that I had no idea I was due, thank you again to Beat The Banks especially to Gary who was so helpful and efficient in every way.”

  • Dave & Linda , Dundee

    “We had no paperwork but £52,500 reasons to say thank you, we are now living our Spanish dream! Exceptional service.”

  • Mr S, Dingwall

    “Have just found out I have won all my cases with the bank, going back many years and been awarded compensation of just over £15,000!”

Web Design by: Purple Imp