Over 300 claims are expected to be filed against the defunct advisory business Wellington Court Financial Services. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has already started paying out claims with over £260,000 paid out for five successful claims made against the company.
After an 11-month examination into complaints against the firm by the FSCS, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) they were ruled in default last week.
According to the FSCS, Wellington Court was founded in Ireland but was granted permission to operate in the UK under the Insurance Distribution Directive. The company had a location in Devon, United Kingdom, however, it closed in December 2021.
The Financial Ombudsmen Scheme had "upheld a significant number of complaints against Wellington Court in respect to its involvement with the transfer of customers' pensions," according to an update from the FSCS, but the IFA "had failed to satisfy the FOS awards."
There have been 335 claims against Wellington Court made to the FSCS, but only 16 have been processed and 5 have been judged successful.
Since 2016, when the firm first received FCA authorisation to advise on pension transfers, over two-thirds of the claims against the IFA have been related to pension transfers and/or Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) investment advice.
Most complaints that the FOS upheld included the transfer of clients' pensions into a SIPP managed by the now-defunct Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation (GMTC). According to the FSCS, clients invested in pension funds that contained "high-risk, non-standard investments."
According to FOS files, Wellington Court claimed in one recent FOS case that paperwork connecting the complainant to Wellington Court was "fraudulent" and that the complainant had "never been a customer" despite having put their pension in the GMTC SIPP.
Since March 2021, the FOS has upheld all 31 complaints made against Wellington Court.
If you think you have been the victim of a mis-sold pension transfer advice or your pension has lost value after transfer speak to a member of our expert team today by calling 0800 046 9976 or alternatively, you can fill out the online enquiry form.