She said: “All in all, and taken in context, my view is that what was said can be construed as a value judgement as to the merits of transferring to a Sipp with the named provider to permit investment in commercial property.”
As Ms Stead believed the direct offer amounted to advice, she said that Feast Noble should have considered the proposed investment and warned Mr S about the risks involved.
She also said the firm should have been wary about the involvement of an unregulated introducer.
Ms Stead went on to say: “Feast Noble should have been alive to the possibility that the introducer (who was precluded from giving financial advice) may have been overly positive about the prospects of the investment it was marketing.
“Feast Noble should also have recognised that an unregulated overseas commercial property investment was unlikely to be suitable for the vast majority of ordinary retail clients and that there was potential for consumer detriment.
“Against that background Feast Noble should have thought carefully about whether it should have arranged the Sipp for Mr S to permit that sort of high risk, non-mainstream investment.”
Feast Noble was ordered to put Mr S as close as possible to the position he would be in now if he had been given suitable advice.
It must also pay £300 for the trouble caused.
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