Financial Services Compensation Scheme  

FSCS looking into validity of 1,500 Berkeley Burke claims

 FSCS looking into validity of 1,500 Berkeley Burke claims

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is investigating whether the claims it has received against Berkeley Burke are valid and will announce in due course if compensation payouts will be made.

FTAdviser has learned that the lifeboat scheme has received 1,589 claims against Berkeley Burke to date.

According to an update on its website, the FSCS has been working closely with Berkeley Burke’s administrators and has received its due diligence files.

Once the FSCS has examined these documents it will be able to determine whether the troubled self-invested personal pension provider owes a civil liability, in other words, whether a UK court would hold the failed firm responsible for a customer’s losses. 

Once it finds this out it will be able to announce whether there are valid claims against Berkeley Burke.

In September, the directors of Berkeley Burke Sipp Administration Limited put the company into administration because it could no longer afford to defend redress claims made against it.

Immediately after being appointed, administrators RSM announced that the Sipp arm of the business would be sold out of administration in a pre-pack deal with Hartley Pensions, which has acquired a number of client books from troubled Sipp providers in recent years.

It is not known how much Hartley paid for the client book.

Last year Berkeley Burke Sipp also dropped its appeal against a Financial Ombudsman Service decision from 2014 which ordered it to compensate a client after it failed to carry out adviser-style due diligence on his investment.

The Court of Appeal decided to let Berkeley Burke appeal the decision in February after it said the decision was potentially one of "considerable and wider importance within the industry and for customers". But it was dropped in October because of a lack of funding.

In a separate post, the FSCS gave an update on its investigation into troubled Sipp provider Pointon York.

In October, FTAdviser reported the lifeboat scheme was struggling to collect information from third parties to determine whether there were any valid claims against Pointon York.

In an update this week, the FSCS said it had still not received any information.

It stated: “We are still exploring other methods of collecting documents from various third parties. However, we have yet to receive any information. 

“Without this we cannot determine if there is a civil liability against Pointon York - would a UK court hold it responsible for a customer's losses - or if there are any valid claims.”

The FSCS has received 71 claims against Pointon York to date.

The FSCS started accepting claims against Pointon York in July, after the company went into liquidation in November 2018.

Curtis Banks bought Pointon York’s Sipp book for an undisclosed sum in 2014.

amy.austin@ft.com

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