WSW Wealth Management & Easy Financial Planning (UK) LLP
WSW Wealth Management was a trading name of WSW Financial Services. Established back in 2002, it was authorised and regulated from 2006 along with its appointed representative firm – Easy Financial Planning (UK) LLP. Both were directed by Nick and Oliver Maynard.
These firms were part of yet another sorry tale of pension-holders losing millions of pounds thanks to their pensions being moved into unregulated assets (UCIS) – this time Harlequin, the failed Carribbean hotel and resorts venture.
Referred from unregulated introducers with one objective
Clients were referred to Easy Financial Planning (Easy FP) from unregulated advisors with one simple objective – to transfer their pensions into a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and then invest the funds in Harlequin. A similar pattern to that seen with Douglas Baillie and their appointed representatives, The Pension Specialist.
Easy FP typically advised pension holders that it was not in their best interests to invest in this highly illiquid and speculative scheme, although they appear to have chosen to ignore their own advice on numerous occasions for “insistent clients”. On this point, the Financial Ombudsman chose not to be sympathetic, pointing to a conflict of interest as Easy FP only got paid if transfers proceeded.
Generous rewards and high commissions
Harlequin were known for generously rewarding unregulated introducers who recommended customers to their scheme. However, to unlock this commission a willing IFA firm was needed, such as Easy FP. Not a challenge given the initial advice fees of up to 5%, plus possible inducements from the SIPP providers and a kick back on the introducer commission.
Unfortunately the only loser in this situation was the pension holder.
Following complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) concerning their handling of pension transfers, WSW Wealth Management commenced winding up and were subsequently declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on 23 September 2019.
If you were convinced to transfer your pension into a SIPP by WSW Wealth Management or one of their associated companies and lost money on a bad investment, you could be entitled to compensation.
Our team at Beat the Banks can give an honest assessment of your situation and advise you on the next steps to take. Call us on 0800 193 1234 for a free, no-obligation consultation and start your claims process today.