SIPP  

Costs pile up at failed Sipp provider

Costs pile up at failed Sipp provider

Troubled self-invested personal pension provider Liberty Sipp has seen its costs rack up, with various administration and legal fees coming in at more than £500,000.

A report by administrators Leonard Curtis, filed at Companies House today (May 27), showed from October 27, 2020 to April 26, 2021, Liberty Sipp had paid £132,500 towards administrator’s remuneration, compared with £295,605 in the previous period. 

In total, Liberty Sipp has paid out £511,777 on various costs and fees in the past year.

According to the report, the company now has £1.45m in its accounts.

Meanwhile, the FSCS still accepting and paying out on claims from investors.

As of February 25, the lifeboat scheme has paid out £5.8m in compensation on 187 claims but in total had received 1,860 claims against the firm.

These claims relate to due diligence failings on the part of Liberty Sipp.

The provider was only placed in default in January, which is when the FSCS started to pay out on successful claims.

A declaration of default happens when the FSCS deems that a firm cannot meet any eligible claims made against it.

Liberty Sipp was advised to enter administration in April last year due to the number of claims it received relating to high-risk non-standard investments.

The Liberty Sipp Limited business and customer assets were sold to EBS Pensions Limited, part of the Embark Group, in October 2018, which then rebranded the Liberty Sipp as the Option Sipp.

However, the legal entity Liberty Sipp Limited was not part of the sale and retained its liabilities. It consequently had to pay out against any complaints using the assets it held.

Liberty Sipp fell into trouble when it was hit by a number of complaints from clients who had allegedly lost money after making high-risk investments.

amy.austin@ft.com

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