FCA investigations continue into collapsed Sipp advice firm

The FCA and Financial Services Compensation Scheme are continuing to investigate two years after an advice firm with a history of non-standard Sipp investments fell into default.

Henderson Carter Associates Limited was declared in default by the FSCS in March 2017.

The firm’s FCA Register entry shows that it was required by the FCA not to conduct any pension transfers or switches into Sipps except where members’ funds were to be invested wholly into standard investments.

The firm was also told to cease all pension business until its sales process was reviewed, and not to hold itself out as providing independent advice in relation to personal pension schemes, but to use the restricted advice label instead.

In the latest liquidator’s report for the firm published to Companies House today, the administrators noted that “FCA and FSCS investigations are ongoing and the liquidation cannot be finalised until these have been completed”.

The report reveals that while the administrators applied to the FCA to dissolve the company after the automatic expiry of the administration period, the FCA said it was not in a position to conclude its investigation.

The report states: “In accordance with [the FCA’s] policies and procedures, the company and or the former director, Mr Henderson, as an authorised person, may be subject to a determination dependent on the outcome of their enquiries.”

No specific numbers are given, but the report notes “several” claims for mis-advice had been presented to the FSCS.

The report reads: “The FSCS is currently investigating a number of claims made against the company and if upheld will make the necessary compensation award. Otherwise and on the basis of the information currently available there is no prospect of a distribution to unsecured creditors.”

So far, the liquidators have racked up £61,000 in time costs, spending 215 hours on the case at an average hourly rate £283.

Money Marketing was unable to contact Henderson Carter Associates for comment through the email address listed on its FCA Register entry.

An FCA spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation.

The FSCS has been approached for comment.

Henderson Carter previously had an appointed representative relationship with lead generator firm Hennessy Jones Limited. Another advice firm, Financial Page, also had a relationship with Hennessy Jones. Both were told to terminate this relationship, according to their FCA Register records.

Last month, Financial Page principal Andrew Page set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for legal action against the FCA’s decision to remove his permissions.

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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 5th March 2019 at 3:48 pm

    For how many years have dangerously non-standard, off-piste investments (not just via SIPPs) been a growing problem, of which the FCA should have been:-

    1. aware, on which it should have been

    2. regularly gathering relevant information (by way of its GABRIEL system) and on which it should have been

    3. taking swift and decisive action to

    4. stamp out malpractice before it became another national scandal?

    Reasonable questions, I think.

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