The FOS found in favour of the client in two cases involving unsuitable pension investments in SIPPs
Furness Financial Management, no-longer authorised by the FCA and declared “in default” with the FSCS, was based in Staffordshire, and as of 2017 has 2 FOS decisions held against it, both relating to advice it gave clients about moving their pensions into SIPPs: Self Invested Personal Pensions, and about the suitability of the underlying investments.
Furness Case 1: DRN9563217
“Mr D says it [Furness Financial Management] made different arrangements for his pension funds to the ones agree. Because of this, MR D has suffered a financial loss”.
In August 2014, Furness approached Mr D and advised on the suitability of a new pension arrangement, but then executed alternative plans involving investments that were either “unavailable or not viable”.
Furness Case 2: DRN3341501
Mr H received advice from Furness Financial Management Limited, advising her to open a SIPP to invest in a UCIS – an unregulated collective investment schemes. (UCIS are characterised by falling out of the jurisdiction of the FCA, and are therefore considered high-risk investments).
This advice was given despite Furness noting that Mr H “had little previous investment experience”, therefore not fitting the description of a Sophisticated Investor needed to enter such investment. Nor was there any evidence to suggest he was a “High Net Worth Individual”, earning £18,000 per year instead of £100k+.
Furness Financial Management invested Mr H’s SIPP into Best Car Parks fund, which offered high-returns but was unregulated and high-risk.
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