Berkeley Burke review drags on

Berkeley Burke review drags on

The Financial Ombudsman Service is unable to say when it will complete a review into the Berkeley Burke case.

The case was launched in October 2014 after talk of a judicial review into Fos’s decision to punish Sipp provider Berkeley Burke for not doing adviser-style due diligence.

However, according to a spokesman for Fos, the review is still ongoing nearly 18 months after it was originally launched.

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The spokesman said it is “hard to say” when the review will be completed, and added that there is not a date for when it will be finished. When asked why the review was taking so long, the spokesman declined to comment.

In 2014, Berkeley Berke lost a case with Fos over an unregulated investment in a landmark ruling that some interpreted as meaning that Sipp operators would need to undertake adviser-style due diligence.

Fos’s original decision, which was published on its online database, but later removed, ruled that the firm had failed to carry out adequate due diligence by allowing a consumer to invest £24,195 in Green Oil Plantations in 2011, and £58,500 in Harlequin.

It later u-turned when further evidence came to light, and it is still reviewing the decision.

Berkeley Burke believes Fos does not have the legal right to undo agreed final decisions, that the offer to reconsider the decision has “no basis in law”, and that it will probably launch a judicial review anyway.