FOS reviews Sipp complaint upheld against Berkeley Burke

The Financial Ombudsman Service is reviewing a complaint previously upheld against Sipp operator Berkeley Burke Sipp Administration.

In July, Money Marketing reported the FOS had upheld a complaint against Berkeley Burke for failing to carry out adequate due diligence on a £29,394 unregulated collective investment scheme.

The complainant transferred the money from a personal pension plan into a Sipp in 2011 after being introduced by an unregulated agent. He invested £24,195 in Sustainable AgroEnergy, an unregulated investment. The firm went into administration and the investor lost his entire fund.

Ombudsman Roy Milne ruled that Berkeley Burke should have been alert to the fact the investment was potentially unsuitable and should have made further enquiries.

But the FOS says it will now consider the complaint again after Berkeley Burke started judicial review proceedings.

An FOS spokesman says: “The ombudsman issued a decision in June. Following the decision, the business commenced the judicial review process.

“The outcome of that process was that the ombudsman will now consider the complaint afresh.”

The decision has been removed from the FOS website.

Berkeley Burke recently held a meeting with a number of Sipp providers to discuss the FOS decision.

Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes chairman Neil MacGillivray, who attended the meeting, says: “This was a very harsh decision. As an industry we fully accept we have to do due diligence but the question is how much. We need more clarity from the FCA on this.”

Berkeley Burke declined to comment.