Financial Services Compensation Scheme  

IFA firm facing 7 pension claims fails

IFA firm facing 7 pension claims fails

An advice firm facing seven pension-related claims has failed, according to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

In a notice yesterday (October 20), the FSCS said Hallmark (East Midlands) Limited, trading as Hallmark Mortgages & Overseas Properties, Abbot Insurance Broker, had failed.

The claims are a mixture of pension claims, none of which relate to the British Steel Pension Scheme.

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This comes as earlier this week, the FSCS declared advice firm Thompson Prior in default after five claims had been filed against it. 

The majority of these were also pensions-related, with self-invested personal pension advice “being a key part”, according to the lifeboat fund.

A number of other firms have collapsed in relation to Sipps. In March, Sipp provider Heritage Pensions Limited entered into liquidation following four claims upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service requiring it to pay a total of up to £600,000 in compensation to clients.

Later in the year, Rowanmoor Personal Pensions Limited (RPPL), the £1.4bn Sipp operator which was found to have failed in its due diligence by the Fos in January, entered administration.

RPPL had operated approximately 4,800 pensions, with assets under administration of £1.4bn.

Just last month, two firms - Nationwide Benefit Consultants Limited and Trust Financial Consulting Ltd - failed with 27 pension claims between them.

The FSCS has been facing an uptick in complex claims. The lifeboat fund counts pension transfer claims in this category, due to the way redress is calculated for such schemes. 

In the year 2021/22, the FSCS recorded 59,915 claims, compared with 47,555 in 2020/21, 49,364 in 2019/20, and 50,731 in 2018/19.

In a letter to an advice firm seen by FTAdviser, the FSCS said in late September it was dealing with more claims than it usually does and that as a result it is “taking a little longer” to process claims than normal.