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Experts warn over ‘misleading’ Rightmove Sipp promotion

A promotional Sipp email sent to consumers by property website Rightmove has been slammed as “misleading” by experts.

The email, sent by Rightmove on behalf of unregulated property development company John Charles Property Investments, describes Sipps as “the landlord’s pension”.

It says Sipps allow investors to invest in property with just £35,000, and refers to one investor who achieved a 12 per cent return in one year.

It does not distinguish between residential and commercial property, however.

John Charles Property Investments is a third party advertiser with Rightmove. Rightmove sent the email to a section of its database.

Moretosipps principal John Moret says: “The information contains worrying suggestions of 12 per cent returns, with no mention of risk or costs. This is misleading and potentially dangerous.”

Talbot and Muir head of technical support Claire Trott says: “The biggest concern is that Rightmove is associated with residential property so people will assume this applies to residential.”

The Phil Billingham Partnership director Phil Billingham says: “It is unfortunate that a household name has chosen to associate itself with something that is likely to be unsuitable for the vast majority of investors.”

A Rightmove spokeswoman says: “This email was sent to a small section of our database, to people who have chosen to receive emails about investor news and services. Rightmove is not responsible for the website content or services provided by third parties.”

John Charles Property Investments director Gareth Bertram says: “Clients of this business include company directors, trustees and private individuals, who choose to invest in a broad spectrum of property and therefore marketing is designed to be broad reaching. Clients requiring regulated financial advice are referred to regulated financial advisers.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. And we haven’t even got to April 6 yet!!

  2. There’s plenty of this already going on and therefore no doubt with increase. There is a groundswell of unregulated ‘advisers’ and marketing companies trying to engage with the assets held in pensions – whether it be UCIS, property etc – irrespective of the clients age.

    A big fear remains that individuals can be ‘advised’ to cash in their ‘virtually tax free’ – specifically free of IHT until 75 – and liquid pensions and invest in illiquid, taxable assets which form part of their estate by individuals who are unregulated and as such the client has no ‘comeback’.

  3. Isn’t it high time that unregulated investment promotions like this are stopped in their tracks by the FCA?

    All investments made by SIPPs and SSASs must be subject to FCA authorisation.

    Pension providers, trustees and administrators and should only be permitted transfer pension assets to other approved pension plans, following advice from FCA authorised firms

    This needs to happen now, and well before we have a wall of misselling and other scams that will inevitably arise in early April.

  4. Isn’t the kind of thing that the FSCS now says all advisers have to stump for. Come FCA get off your backsides and do something.

  5. I have this week encountered a client determined to invest in a “unregulated” investment offering 15.5% per annum return from an unauthorised “adviser” (previous history is from a firm no longer authorised and insolvent due to FSCS claims -Keydata and the like) using a SSAS from an unregulated firm. As much as I continue to point out that there may be a risk here and something which my firm would not authorise/ approve he seems to be really keen to proceed!
    We should be afraid…really afraid!

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