FSCS pays out £8.25m on failed adviser

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FSCS pays out £8.25m on failed adviser
ByAmy Austin

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has paid out £8.25m on 158 successful claims against a collapsed advice firm after a string of claims in relation to pension transfers.

In total, the lifeboat scheme has received 315 claims to date against BlackStar Wealth Management, of these 92 are in progress and 65 were unsuccessful.

Of these successful claims, 108 related to self-invested personal pensions and 48 were for personal pension transfers, the scheme said.

In a post on its website this week, the FSCS said it was continuing to investigate whether the firm carried out a regulated activity in relation to customers who invested directly in Colonial Capital Group bonds.

It stated: “We are liaising with third parties to get more information, which will help us with our investigations.”

BlackStar Wealth Management, based in the West Midlands, was declared in default by the FSCS in January last year, five months after it appointed administrators.

BlackStar entered administration in August 2019 after it was revealed that it had given poor advice on investments which included troubled property scheme Dolphin Capital, now German Property Group, and the now defunct Beaufort Securities.

The firm previously had its investment and defined benefit pension permissions restricted following a section 166 review.

According to the FCA register, the firm was not allowed to carry out any pension transfer business unless it had prior written consent by the FCA.

It was also told all advice on investments was subject to oversight by a skilled person under s166.

BlackStar had faced a number of claims at the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

In one claim, BlackStar was ordered to compensate its client after she complained that the advice she had been given to transfer her pension to a self-invested personal pension and invest into two high-risk investments was unsuitable for her.

Her funds were invested into Dolphin Capital and into a discretionary managed portfolio with Beaufort Securities.

BlackStar recommended that she should transfer her four personal pensions into a Sipp and invest 58 per cent in Dolphin and 42 per cent with Beaufort.

This was despite its report stating that investing a large portion into a single asset was risky.


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