Sipp provider acts after clients targeted by CMCs

Sipp provider acts after clients targeted by CMCs

Intelligent Money is writing to former Active Wealth clients who are invested in its products to offer assistance in obtaining redress without the need of a claims management company.

Julian Penniston-Hill, chief executive of the investments and self-invested personal pensions provider, said he has clients in the low hundreds who were advised by Darren Reynolds, the adviser who set up Active Wealth, which went into liquidation in February 2018.

Some of these clients are former members of the British Steel Pension Scheme who now hold their money in the Intelligent Money Sipp and have recently become the target of CMCs looking to bring claims against Active Wealth.

Intelligent Money will now be writing to these customers to assist them in seeking redress at no extra charge.

Mr Penniston-Hill said: "Unfortunately it is now the case that CMCs - and certain financial advisers - are sweeping into specific locations to target already vulnerable people who have only one thing in common - very large pension funds upon which they can ‘assist’ with for, of course, a large fee.

"We are very concerned that these clients, who have quite frankly been through enough and remain vulnerable, are being specifically targeted again by such financial advisers and CMCs."

He added: "I would also like to make it clear that our concerns are with vulture CMCs and financial advisers seeking to profit from these circumstances, not genuine solicitors representing their clients."

Clarke Wilmott has been appointed by a group of steelworkers in Port Talbot to pursue a legal case against parties involved in the recent defined benefit pension transfer debacle.

BSPS members were asked to decide what to do with their pensions as part of a restructuring process in 2017.

As a result about 8,000 members transferred out of the old scheme by October last year, with transfers collectively worth about £2.8bn.

But concerns about the suitability of the transfers were soon raised leading to an intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority, which resulted in 10 firms - the key players in the debacle, including Active Wealth - stopping their transfer advice service.

Al Rush, principal at Echelon Wealthcare, who helped the steelworkers navigate the debacle, said he was "gratified" to hear Intelligent Money was "taking the welfare of Darren Reynolds' clients so seriously".

But he said more should have been done sooner to protect the clients. He also cautioned against potential data protection issues in contacting clients out of the blue to offer the service.


In response to this, Mr Penniston-Hill said: "I am quite perplexed as to how Mr Rush conceives that there could be any data protection issues regarding a provider writing to its clients regarding a pension it administrates for them."  

Darren Cooke, chartered financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning – who was part of the group of advisers that gave free counselling to the steelworkers – doesn’t see any advantage on clients taking on the offer from Intelligent Money.