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FSCS Berkeley Burke payments up to £60 million

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Financial Services Compensation Scheme has settled claims against failing provider Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration (BBSA) for a total of £58.8 million.

As of January 11, the lifeboat system reported receiving 2,155 claims against Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration, of which 1,795 were upheld, 309 were denied, and 51 were still pending.

Due to its inability to continue funding the defence of redress claims brought against it, BBSA failed and entered administration on September 18, 2019.

Administrators RSM indicated that the Sipp division of the company would be sold out of administration in a pre-pack transaction with Hartley Pensions as soon as they were appointed.

However, Hartley was informed by the Financial Conduct Authority in March that it could no longer accept new clients, and the business soon went into administration as a result.

Due to its inability to pay the legal fees incurred in defending allegations that the firm failed to exercise adequate due diligence while accepting high-risk investments between 2010 and 2012, BBSA entered administration.

On its website, the FSCS stated that it was aware that many BBSA customers had their previous pensions transferred into Berkeley Burke SIPP at the recommendation of IFAs.

Following the move, clients had their pension funds invested in high-risk, unconventional products. Some of these can today neither be sold nor exchanged since they have since become illiquid.

A liquidator's statement that was posted on Companies House in September 2022 indicated that up to 4,000 clients might have experienced investment losses.

Additionally, it stated that Berkeley Burke's administration shouldn't add any extra duties to those of the Hartley administration.

Berkeley Burke (Financial Services) Ltd and Berkeley Burke Employee Benefit Consultants Ltd, who offer administration and consulting services to small, self-administered schemes and multinational firms, were bought by STM Group in August 2020 for 100% of the share capital of each company.

The Berkeley Burke SIPP firm has no connection to these two companies.

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