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September 4, 2023

FSCS has paid out nearly £40m in Guinness Mahon Claims

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has paid out almost £40m in compensation for claims against Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation.

The FSCS told FTAdviser that it has so far it has received 1, 456 claims against Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation.

It also said it has rejected 287 of these claims and upheld 1,136, of which £39.7m has been paid in compensation. The remaining 33 cases against Guinness Mahon are still being assessed by the FSCS.


Why did Guinness Mahon go into Administration?

Guinness Mahon was placed into administration on 17 February 2020 following complaints relating to historic high-risk non-standard investments and the lack of due diligence that it had carried out before accepting these investments into customers’ SIPPs.

Some of the investments have since become illiquid, meaning they can’t currently be sold or traded.


Guinness Mahon and Hartley Pensions

Upon being appointed, the Administrators – Adam Stephens and Nick Myers of Smith & Williamson LLP – immediately sold the SIPP business to Hartley Pensions Limited.

Hartley Pensions entered administration in July 2022 and is currently under investigation by the FSCS whilst it establishes if there are protected claims that will allow it to pay compensation under its rules.

In November last year a Director of Hartley Pensions caused ‘panic’ when he sent a letter to scheme members blaming the FCA for pursuing an “aggressive position leading to the administration and closure of the business”.

The claim was swiftly refuted by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Wellington Court and Guinness Mahon SIPPs

The Financial Ombudsman Service has upheld a large number of complaints against Wellington Court Financial Services Ltd in respect of its involvement with pension transfers into Guinness Mahon SIPPs.

The advice firm was declared in ‘default’ by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in May 2023.

Important Information!

You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.

It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.