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Hartley Pensions latest FCA restrictions due to ‘serious operational and regulatory issues’

14 July 2022

Hartley Pensions is subject to further FCA restrictions whilst it attempts to deal with ‘serious operational and regulatory issues.’

On July 11th Hartley’s asked the Financial Conduct Authority to impose requirements preventing it from accepting ongoing contributions into the SIPPs/SASSs administered by it.

And transfers or switches have been temporarily suspended until 22 July at the earliest.

In its notice, the FCA explained: “The requirements have been imposed due to a number of serious operational and regulatory issues that the firm are attempting to deal with and is intended to protect all of the firm’s customers.”

Hartley Pensions FCA Restrictions

This isn’t the first restriction placed on Hartley Pensions by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In February 2022 Asset Restriction and Client Funds requirements were placed on the firm.  This means Hartley Pensions can’t dispose or transfer any assets or client funds without prior consent from the FCA.

Then in March the FCA ordered Hartley’s to stop accepting new business unless it had expressed authorisation from the regulator.

Hartley’s were told it must be “open and transparent” and answer any enquiries or concerns from relevant 3rd parties.

And that it must inform its key top 5 SIPP client business relationships that it cannot accept further SIPP/SSAS pipeline business for them

How do the new FCA restrictions affect Hartley Pensions clients?

Hartley Pensions have said that the latest restriction was voluntary and would not impact existing clients.

The FCA said: ‘If you are regularly withdrawing money from your [Hartley] Sipp, you can continue to do this, and pension payments will continue to be made. You can reach out to your financial adviser to understand how this impacts you. If you do not have one and wish to speak to one, please visit the FCA website.’

Failed SIPP Providers

In recent years Hartley Pensions has purchased the SIPP business of several failed SIPP Providers. These include Berkeley Burke, Guardian GPC SIPP Ltd, Guinness Mahon, The Lifetime SIPP Company Ltd and Greyfriars Asset Management.

Many of these providers entered administration following complaints from clients who’d been exposed to unsuitably high-risk investments in their SIPPs.

What is SIPP Mis-selling?

Most SIPP mis-selling happens because the risks involved with investments in the SIPP don’t match the client’s attitude to risk.

In many mis-sold SIPP cases clients were not adequately told of the risks involved. And in some cases, clients were promised guaranteed high returns if they invested.

If you’ve concerns about your SIPP or pension transfer advice, get in touch and talk to one of our team.

Our assessment can help check if you may have been mis-sold. And we can also explain your options if you do have a case for compensation.

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