Two firms default with FSCS after number of claims

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Two firms default with FSCS after number of claims

Two firms facing a collective of 337 claims have failed, with a third under investigation by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

One of the firms, Wellington Court Financial Services Ltd, was declared in default yesterday (May 23) and has 329 claims open which are largely pension and self-invested personal pension advice related.

Wellington Court was incorporated in Ireland, passported into the UK and had an establishment in Devon which closed on December 31, 2021.

From December 19, 2016, Wellington Court had permission from the Financial Conduct Authority to carry out certain regulated activities including advising on investments and pension transfers. 

Prior to this date, it only had permission to carry out insurance mediation and insurance distribution activities.

The FSCS said it has been working with the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service to investigate the activities of Wellington Court.

According to the FSCS, the Fos has upheld a large number of complaints against Wellington Court in respect of its involvement with the transfer of customers’ pensions into a Sipp administered by Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Ltd.

GMTC was declared in default by FSCS on October 29, 2020. 

However, where Wellington Court was involved in a customer’s transfer into the GMTC Sipp, FSCS has required customers to first exhaust their rights against Wellington Court via the Fos before FSCS is able to consider any claim against GMTC.

But, Wellington Court has failed to satisfy the Fos awards.

An FSCS spokesperson said: “We opened up to claims in June 2022 to get an idea of the shape of customer claims to assist our investigation – so although it’s a high number, these claims have been made to us over the course of nearly a year. 

“The firm has now been declared in default because our team identified a compensable claim.”

Old Park Capital

The second firm, Old Park Capital Limited was also declared in default yesterday and currently has eight investment related claims open against it.

Old Park Capital was an asset management firm founded in 2009 and it also operated a business premises renovation allowance scheme. 

FSCS has received one claim against OPCL in relation to this scheme.  

“We’re currently investigating whether there are valid claims against the firm,” it said. 

“For this to happen we need to know that OPCL carried out a regulated activity in relation to customers’ investments that would lead to claims that FSCS may be able to protect.”

Firm under investigation

Elsewhere, Abana Unipessoal Lda is currently under investigation as of today (May 23).

Abana was a Portuguese firm that, prior to December 31, 2020, passported into the UK on a services basis. 

The FSCS said Abana’s passport only covered insurance intermediation in the UK.

FSCS has determined that Abana undertook regulated activities for customers outside of Abana’s insurance intermediation permissions in the UK. 

These regulated activities included arranging pension transfers, notably into the Avalon & Westerby Sipp, both UK-based Sipp providers.

The FSCS said it is now open to claims against Abana.

A spokesperson confirmed that none of the claims related to British Steel Pension Scheme advice.

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