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FSCS pays out £39.3m on GPC claims

FSCS pays out £39.3m on GPC claims

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has received 1,213 claims against defunct self-invested personal pension provider GPC Sipp to date, paying out nearly £40m in compensation.

FTAdviser has learned out of these claims, 888 were successful while 107 were unsuccessful and there are still 218 claims in progress.

A report from administrators Smith and Williamson, filed with Companies House last week (July 17), showed GPS Sipp had received claims from 10 unsecured creditors, including HM Revenue and Customs, employees and clients vie the FSCS, totalling £37.5m to June 10.

More claims are expected to follow as there are a number of creditors who have not yet submitted a claim, it stated.

Equally, the FSCS expects the final amount of claims to be bigger as new claims "are still coming in".

The FSCS declared GPC Sipp in default earlier this year (February 17) with the lifeboat scheme having received 799 claims for compensation against the provider at the time.

GPC Sipp, formerly known as Guardian Pension Consultants, entered administration in June 2019 due to problems with the investments in its Sipps - several of which failed, such as Harlequin Properties, a £400m project involving a luxury hotel development that was largely never built. 

According to the administrators' report the company’s book debts are valued at £2.4m with £68,525 having been collected by June 10.

They said any future dividend prospects for the creditors were dependent on further debts owed to the company being recovered and the potential sale of the client database, both of which were uncertain at present.

The debts mainly relate to outstanding Sipp administration fees that have not been paid on a large number of accounts.

The administrators said they were in talks with several solicitors acting for more than 500 clients to reach a settlement in relation to debts owed by these clients, which could see £80,000 paid to the firm.

Despite Hartley Pensions purchasing the Sipp and Ssas books of GPC Sipp in August 2019 for £482,000, the firm said this was not on an exclusive basis.

The administrators have received an offer from a third party to purchase this database but said the amount on offer cannot be disclosed at this time.

Meanwhile, the company is not expected to receive any claims from sole director Kathryn Taylor as it had already entered into a settlement agreement.

After negotiations between Hartley, Ms Taylor and the administrators it was agreed that Ms Taylor would be paid £18,500, £10,000 from Hartley and £8,500 from GPC, to protect both Hartley and GPC against the risk of any future claims being brought by Ms Taylor.

GPC and its administrators also agreed to waive Ms Taylor's £71,502 directors’ loan as well as pay £25,000 towards her legal fees.

This came after it was revealed that Ms Taylor had £1m transferred to her directors loan account in the form of a "dividend", a mere seven months before the company entered administration.

amy.austin@ft.com

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