Financial adviser ordered to pay compensation after unsuitable QROPS advice

Financial adviser ordered to pay compensation after unsuitable QROPS advice

Gerard Associates has been ordered to pay compensation after poor advice given to a client regarding transferring a defined benefit scheme into a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme.

The advice, which was given in 2015, saw a client referred to as Mrs G transfer a pension of just under £60,000 into an overseas pension scheme.

The money was transferred from a defined benefit occupational scheme, a scheme where the amount you are paid is based on how many years you have worked for your employer and the salary you have earned.

At the time of the advice, Mrs G was in her mid-50s, had no dependents and there was no prior indication that she had poor health. In her profile questionnaire, Mrs G stated she was not comfortable with high-risk investment.

A Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) adjudicator found that Mrs G, and other moderate risk-takers, should not be advised to place pensions within an overseas pensions scheme. The FOS agreed with this decision.

The FOS stated, in regards to a safeguarded benefit scheme such as defined benefits occupational pension scheme, firms should not start the advice process by assuming a transfer, conversion or opt-out would be suitable.

Gerard Associates was asked to pay enough compensation to Mrs G that would put her in the position she would be in had the unsuitable advice not been given.

What are QROPS?

A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, or QROPS, is an overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements set by HMRC. A QROPS must have a beneficial owner and trustees, and it can receive transfers of UK Pension Benefits.

Bringing a claim against advice given to you for transferring into a QROPS can be difficult. The adviser that gave the initial advice has to be fully regulated in the UK. In relation to QROPS, unregulated financial advisers cannot be chased for compensation due to the matter falling outside the jurisdiction of UK law.

However, this does not mean claims in relation to QROPS cannot be brought forward at all. The advice given to you will simply need to have come from a regulated adviser.

How can Smooth Law Commercial help?

At Smooth Commercial Law, our team of experts have extensive experience in dealing with a whole manner of claims that arise from negligent and/or unsuitable financial advice. We are seeing more and more mis-sold financial claims.

Should you have a claim we can deal with your case and look to recover compensation for not just your loss of investment but also any adverse tax liabilities that you may now be facing as well.

You can contact our experienced team by calling 0800 051 2578 or by emailing

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.