The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has received at least 625 claims against a collapsed advice firm involved in defined benefit transfers into high-risk Sipp investments, Money Marketing can reveal.
Data provided by the lifeboat fund shows that the FSCS has so far made 530 decisions on claims relating to Merseyside firm Henderson Carter Associates, of which 446 have been upheld.
Another 95 claims are currently being processed, and 84 applications are in the process of being submitted, giving a total of 778 claims that the FSCS is aware of.
Henderson Carter was declared in default by the FSCS in March 2017. Its FCA register entry shows the firm was told to cease all pensions business, including any pension switches or transfers in Sipps, by the FCA until its sales processes was reviewed.
It also faced a requirement not to put any non-standard investments into Sipps. The FCA said it had found “serious concerns with respect to the adequacy of the Firm’s pensions advice”, including around its relationship with introducer firm Hennessy Jones, which it was told to terminate any business relationship with.
It was also told to describe its advice in relation to personal pension schemes as restricted as opposed to independent.
An FSCS spokesman says: “The vast majority of claims received by FSCS against Henderson Carter Associates relate to negligent pension transfer advice.
“In most cases customers were advised to transfer out of existing pension arrangements into Sipps. Many customers ended up investing in products or funds not consistent with their attitude to risk given their circumstances at the time they were advised to transfer.”
Henderson Carter’s website is currently unavailable, and Money Marketing was unable to contact the firm at the email address listed on its FCA register entry for comment.
Former director Aiden James Henderson does not currently have any additional positions listed on his FCA register or Companies House entries.
Earlier this month, a liquidators’ report for the firm showed that the FCA and Financial Services Compensation Scheme were continuing to investigate two years on from the firm’s collapse into default.
Shropshire-based Financial Page, another advice firm that was declared in default around the same time as Henderson Carter and also had an appointed representative relationship with Hennessy Jones, set up a crowdfunding page in February to support a legal challenge to the FCA’s action against the firm.
Director Andrew Page also does not currently have another role listed on the FCA register or Companies House.
The FCA declined to comment.