More about the mis-sold Liberty SIPP investment
In September 2007, Liberty SIPP limited was made a limited private company. Based in Manchester, the firm grew steadily as a SIPP provider after two years of losses. 2017 became a standout year for the firm as their revenues hit £2.1 million, a significant increase of almost 40% compared to the previous year.
Rebranding to Option SIPP
The source of this dramatic turnaround in fortunes was their rebranding. In 2018, Liberty SIPP sold their business and customer assets to EBS Pensions Limited (a company which was part of the Embark Group). Liberty SIPP became Option SIPP; the firm went from a standard wealth management firm to a simple organisation that offered one product and one product only: the Liberty Option SIPP.
What was the Liberty Option SIPP?
The Liberty Option SIPP product required a flat annual investment of £175 plus VAT. It came with no hidden charges and allowed investors the flexibility to amend their investment portfolios as desired. All of this was a great pull for investors, and countless decided to put their savings into the Liberty SIPP scheme.
High-risk and ‘non-standard’ schemes
However, based on a high number of complaints and potential claims regarding high-risk ‘non-standard’ investment schemes, 2020 saw the firm enter administration after the FOS ruled against them. With over 800 similar cases to use as evidence (with a collective value of over £31 million), insolvency was advised as a way to protect creditors as well as former customers. The case has now been passed to the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) which has begun to compensate investors.
Have you been mis-sold a SIPP?
There are some telltale signs that you have been mis-sold a financial product, but the difficult thing is that they’re often signs that come too late. That being said, here are a few that you should keep in mind.
You didn’t really understand the scheme itself – Where you are new to investing and did not understand the process or investment that you were advised on.
The adviser used ‘hard sales tactics’ to coerce you – Where you felt uncomfortable or pressured into an investment that you didn’t really need or want.
The advice you were given was poor or substandard – Where you were advised to switch, even though your existing scheme was more suitable to your current and future pension needs.
There was a lack of transparency regarding costs/fees – If you were not made aware of any management fees or additional costs attached to the investment.
You weren’t made aware of the risks – If you were not given advice about the risky nature of investing and the potential negative implications.
You were given strategies to avoid paying tax – If your financial or pensions adviser recommended a SIPP as a means of tax avoidance.
Are you eligible to make a Liberty Pensions SIPP claim?
The FSCS has said that many Liberty SIPP investors have been able to reclaim up to £85,000, so if you were affected by the scheme then you should get in touch immediately. Our enquiry form to the right takes just 30 seconds to fill out, or you can call us on 0161 968 0768.
Alternatively, you can find our other contact details here. We’re always happy to talk through your options and help you to reclaim your financial security.
In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog. It’s regularly updated with fresh and insightful content surrounding the financial mis-selling world. You may find the following articles of some interest: