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If you have been mis-sold a SIPP, it is likely that you may not know about it unless you research into the SIPP scheme itself. Many investors may experience the negative outcome of a mis-sold SIPP, some of them losing almost all of the pensions as a result, however they may not realize that they could actually claim compensation from this act of financial mis-selling. There are two different bodies that you could claim compensation from. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) could award you up to £50,000, whilst the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)has set a maximum compensation of £150,000.

Although you may not be able to regain the entirety of your investment, or your pension funds that you have invested, you should be able to be compensated for some of your losses. This should give you peace of mind, especially if you have a trained mis-sold SIPP lawyer on your side to help you through the process.

So, if you are considering investing in some sort of SIPP scheme, it is important that you know the signs of being mis-sold a SIPP. That way you can invest in a scheme that you fully understand. Before we jump in to the signs of a mis-sold SIPP scheme, remember, Gowing Law Solicitors can help you if you have been mis-sold a SIPP. Start your journey with our trained solicitors to get the compensation that you deserve.

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What is a SIPP Scheme?

A SIPP stands for a “self-invested personal pension”. These were introduced in 1989 in order to give pension holders more freedom about where to invest their funds. Instead of going for a stand pension scheme from your pension provider, if you were willing to accept the risk, you could invest it in a completely different scheme (a SIPP). There was a higher chance you could get a larger return on your standard pension funds. A financial advisor could offer you advice on these types of investments, especially if you were still new to the world of SIPPs.

Originally, these SIPPs were extremely expensive. That meant that it was not a normal type of investment to make with normal funds. That’s why new SIPP products were introduced to target pension holders. This is because pension holders had a stable income that could be used to invest in a SIPP scheme. Now, you may think that if anything happened to the investors, it would come at their own risk .That meant that there was no risk of complaints because they fully understood the risk that came from these types of investment plans.

How could I have been mis-sold a SIPP?

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One of the main things that we need to talk about is the vulnerability of those who invested in these types of SIPPs. Those who have a pension tend to be older. This means that there is a high chance that they could fall into a vulnerable age range. If this is combined with a lack of investment experience, this can leave them open to more malicious financial advisors or unregulated investment opportunities. Many people found that these “recommended SIPPs” were simply unsuitable for them and that the risk was higher than they expected. If someone had been mis-sold a SIPP, it is likely that they would sometimes be out of thousands of pounds from their pension pot or personal fund. This made it no different to being mis-sold a pension.

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How do I know what an non-standard investment is?

If you have already been advised to invest in a specific type of SIPP, it is essential that you fully understand what you are investing in. One of the main reasons why you may have been mis-sold a pension is because you were making a “non-standard investment”. These investments may have included:

  • Car Park Schemes
  • Unlisted types of shares
  • Luxury property abroad
  • UK/abroad property
  • Farms/Farm land
  • Burial plots
  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy
  • Store pods
  • Film schemes

SIPPs come with a wide array of investment opportunities. Usually, they may be in commercial property, investment trusts or shares. Keep an eye on the type of investments you are making. If you feel that they may be out of the normal categories of investment, or perhaps your advisor is pressurizing you too hard to invest, you should ask for help or conduct research to see if you can find evidence that you could be wasting your time and money on the scheme.

The Signs that you have been mis-sold a SIPP

You now understand the basics of mis-sold SIPP schemes. It is important for us to reflect on what you should do if you have already been mis-sold a SIPP. Unfortunately, you cannot get your money back, but you can still get compensation for your losses. This depends on how negligent your financial advisor was when they originally sold you your SIPP scheme.

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If you can prove that your advisor gave you bad advice or told you to invest in a SIPP scheme that did not suit you, you can ultimately prove that you are the victim of a mis-sold SIPP scheme. To do this, you need to understand the signs of a mis-sold pension in the first place. Similarly you can use it to reflect on your own case and see what red flags could have been shown in your communication with your financial investment advisor:

1. Cold-Calling

SIPP investments can be extremely complicated. You have to take your time to find the right investment. For instance, it will suit the amount of money you have prepared to spend, and the amount of risk you want to take. So, why would a financial advisor randomly call you out of the blue to talk about a great new SIPP scheme that’s just appeared? Most of the time these advisors are commissioned or are part of a scam to get the money from your pension. The best thing to do is simply ignore these calls or hang up the phone. They are offering you a scheme that is not personalized and will most likely make you lose money. Do not get involved in them!

2. High-Pressure Advice

When you hire a financial investment advisor, you expect them to do the research about what SIPP is best for you and your financial situation. Unfortunately, they may not be as experienced as you think or have the credentials you originally believed them to have. That is why they may feel like they are trying to pressurise you into a certain scheme that does not fit you. Either that or they may make extra commission if they get you to invest in a certain SIPP. If you feel like you are being pressurized, it is important that you ask for your financial investment advisor to back off. You may need to find a new financial advisor or you could make it clear to your normal advisor that you have no intention in this recommendation. Instead, you would like new suggestions.

3. Your advisor knew about more risks than they were willing to tell you

This is one of the most common ways how you could have been mis-sold a SIPP scheme. Usually, when you invest in a specific SIPP, you know all of the risks and investment opportunities involved in the transaction. However, if your advisor only told you the positive aspects of the SIPP, and did not warn you about the potential risks, it is likely that you will lose more money than you originally intended. If you need some examples of SIPP schemes that have already done this, please have a look at the following investment brands:

4. Lack of information about fees and commissions

When you invest in a certain scheme or investment plan, you most likely want to know as much information as possible about it. That way you can know precisely what you are getting into and how much of a reward you can expect in return. However, in some cases you may be forced to pay in more than you realised. Did your investment advisor tell you that they had to be paid a commission, or perhaps there were hidden fees on your investments? These can all be red flags as it shows that your advisor has very little interest in helping you. In fact, it may even point to a larger scam in play.

5. You were forced to leave a regular pension scheme to invest in a SIPP

The main aim of anyone who had been mis-sold a SIPP is to prove they did it because of bad advice. Originally, you may have been satisfied to keep your funds in a work-place pension scheme, or perhaps in a
government pension scheme.

However, you were advised to move it to a SIPP by your advisor, when you had no intention of doing so, this could be a prime example of bad advice. You may have thought you did not have the experience needed to invest, or perhaps just did not want all of the fuss and bother of an investment. Would you have even invested if you had not been pushed into it?  In conclusion, if that is not the case, it can show that you deserve compensation for your losses.

How long do I have to make a mis-sold SIPP claim?

As in most cases, you will have around 3 years. This will be from the time you found out you had been mis-sold the pension. We would advise that you collect as much evidence as possible before you make your claim. This can include:

  • Communications with your financial advisor
  • Letters of grievance
  • Examples of your financial losses
  • Information about the SIPP you invested with
  • Examples of additional fees and commissions you have paid to your advisor

Can a Solicitor help me with a mis-sold SIPP scheme?

If you have been mis-sold a SIPP, one of the most important things that you can do is get a solicitor. They can help you understand your claim. Financial mis-selling cases can get extremely complicated. This is true especially if you need to prove that your financial advisor was negligent and did not find a SIPP scheme that was personalized to your own financial situation. Every investor is willing to spend different amounts of money and take varied amounts of risk. A financial advisor’s main job is to give you different options. These can help you understand what precisely you are investing in.

If this did not happen for you, a solicitor can help you claim compensation for their negligence. Here are some reasons how they can help you with your case:

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Gowing Law Solicitors can help you if you have been mis-sold a SIPP

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Gowing Law Solicitors understands how heart-breaking it can be to have your pension and SIPP funds stolen away from you. We endeavour above all to help as many people as possible around the UK claim for their mis-sold SIPPs. All you need to do is fill out our simple form with as much information about your claim as possible. Additionally, you can find our mis-sold SIPP form here.

If you do decide to work with us, our trained solicitors can offer you free advice and consultations. We work on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means that there is no risk to your claim. If we do not win your compensation, that means you do not have to pay any additional fees. So, what are you waiting for?

Call today on 08000418350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk. or use our direct messaging feature on our contact page. One of our team members will then get in contact with you as quickly as possible to help you. If you want more information about mis-sold SIPPs, make sure to check out our mis-sold SIPP FAQ page!

Read more about mis-sold SIPPs!

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Gowing Law is proud to keep its blog updated with the latest facts and information about UK law. We update it every week with new articles that discuss big topics and the basics of compensation claims. This includes information about safety at work, road traffic accidents and many forms of financial mis-selling. If you have a topic you would like us to write about, feel free to let us know. You can email info@gowinglaw.co.uk. In addition, we would also be happy to sign you up to our weekly newsletter.

We look forward to seeing you in our next blog and wish you luck with your mis-sold SIPP compensation claim.

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