More about the mis-sold Freedom Bay investment
The Freedom Bay resort was a property development project based on the beautiful island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. The resort itself was designed to be a high-quality, 5-star eco-luxury resort, comprising beachside villas, tennis courts, spa facilities and more, with the incredible Caribbean scenery making it all the more enticing.
Guaranteed returns and get-out clauses
When it came to seeking out investment, financial advisers won individuals over with promises of “fractional ownerships” (structured in a way that was very similar to timeshares) in Freedom Bay and guaranteed returns, even during construction. To seal the deal, a two-year get-out clause was implemented, with which investors were entitled to a refund on their investment if the resort wasn’t completed within 24 months.
Completion and refunds never materialised
The Freedom Bay St. Lucia resort was originally scheduled to be completed in 2012, and yet it is still not complete today (as of May 2020). The completion date was pushed back to 2013 and then to 2014 – there is now no set completion date and investors have certainly not received the returns they were promised. However, even after the first delay in completion, the developers chose not to refund investors, despite the two-year get-out clause that was in place.
If you are still yet to receive a refund for your mis-sold Freedom Bay St. Lucia investment, contact our team today to discuss your options and to start your claim. Simply fill in the form to the right, or visit our contact page for more information.
Freedom Bay – a mis-sold investment for many reasons
It’s unfortunate that many investments like this are mis-sold to individuals and that warning signs against them only appear after the money has changed hands. This typically occurs when the investment scheme is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Freedom Bay is an unregulated investment scheme
Overseas property investment schemes are especially high-risk in this respect because they are not assessed by the UK regulator. This meant that the Freedom Bay St. Lucia SIPP investments were risky from the start and should only ever have been recommended to experienced investors who had previously dealt with a similar level of risk and who had the financial means to fall back on, should anything go wrong.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and the Freedom Bay resort scheme was sold to both experienced and inexperienced investors.
Failure to comply with the two-year get-out clause
Another way in which Freedom Bay SIPP investors were mis-sold, was through promises of a two-year get-out clause (which we previously mentioned) which was never actioned.
There’s a strong chance that many investors made the decision to sign on the dotted line because of this safety net being in place. In reality, however, they have been left out of pocket, with large sums of their hard-earned money down the drain.
Have I been mis-sold a SIPP?
Other common signs that an investment has been mis-sold to you include:
Lack of understanding – Where you are new to investing and did not understand the process or investment that you were advised on.
Hard sales or pressure selling – Where you felt uncomfortable or pressured into an investment that you didn’t really need or want.
Given poor advice – Where you were advised to switch, even though your existing scheme was more suitable to your current and future pension needs.
Lack of transparency on fees – If you were not made aware of any management fees or additional costs attached to the investment.
No advice given on the risks – If you were not given advice about the risky nature of investing in property and the potential negative implications.
Advised you could avoid tax – If your financial or pensions adviser recommended a SIPP as a means of tax avoidance.
Are you eligible to claim against a Freedom Bay SIPP investment?
Since the news broke out that many investors were refused their two-year get-out refund, a multitude of complaints against the Freedom Bay resort investment have been put forward and many financial advisers have been ordered to pay compensation for their mis-selling.
If you invested your pension in the Freedom Bay resort and were not made aware of the level of risk involved, you may have been mis-sold. What’s more, you could be eligible to complain and claim compensation.
Here at Expert Pension Claims, we have experience in managing the claims process against mis-sold SIPPs and can determine whether you have a claim, before pursuing the claim against Freedom Bay on your behalf. If this sounds like something you wish to discuss, please feel free to get in touch with us by filling in the short form to the right, or by calling us on 0161 968 0768 today.