A Sipp provider has been accused of sending “threatening” letters to clients to stop them allowing Financial Ombudsman Service decisions against the firm to go public.
Carey Pensions helped clients transfer their pensions into higher risk investments after cold-callers introduced transfer business to the firm.
Hundreds of customers moved money without financial advice into investments including storage pods, with returns on some schemes never materialising.
77 complaints against the firm are under consideration at the FOS. 24 provisional decisions have already been made, with all ruling in favour of clients against Carey and awarding full compensation.
The decisions argue that Carey should have conducted more checks on the cold-caller passing it business. They say that it should have known that an individual whom previous regulator the Financial Services Authority published a warning note against was instrumental in running the company.
However, an investigation by Radio 4’s You and Yours programme has found that Carey Pensions has instructed solicitors to write letters to at least a dozen clients asking them to pull out of the FOS process before the decisions are made binding and published.
The programme says that the letters inform the clients that the FOS decision is wrong, and offer them a smaller, but faster cash settlement if they sign a non-disclosure agreement and make sure that no final decision is published.
A client interviewed by the programme describes the letters as “long and threatening.”
Carey told the programme that it is not responsible for the losses as it does not give financial advice, and was trying to help clients through the process.