Berkeley Burke

Many investors were given poor or mis-leading advice when it came to transferring money from their personal pension into a Berkeley Burke SIPP.

As with most mis-sold SIPPs the problem can be with the investments within the SIPP and the advice given to transfer into them.

Investments

If they are high-risk, illiquid or unregulated, then they are not suitable for the average investor. Some of the most notable investments linked with Berkeley Burke SIPPs are;

  • Store First Storage Pods
  • GAS Verdant Australian Farmland
  • InvestUS – US property
  • Harlequin Property
  • Ethical Forestry

Who’s to blame for mis-selling?

Mis-sold pension compensation claims have mainly been directed at regulated financial advisers for giving negligent financial advice to their clients.

However, Berkeley Burke have also been subject to some high-profile court cases, which are challenging the right to make claims against SIPP providers.

Court Case 1

In 2014 the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) ruled against them in respect of the Sustainable Agro Energy investment. This was a green biofuel project in Cambodia which subsequently went into receivership after the Serious Fraud Squad got involved!

Berkeley Burke took this decision to court and in 2018 the Judge ruled in favour of the FOS.

However, Berkeley Burke won the right to appeal this decision which was scheduled for October 15th 2019.

As the outcome of this case would no doubt have wider implications for the SIPP provider industry, as it challenges their responsibility and due diligence when accepting new business, Berkeley Burke were seeking financial assistance from other members of the financial services industry.

However, the latest news is that they have now withdrawn their appeal due to a lack of funds.

Court Case 2

The other court case involved a collective of 176 investors who claimed they suffered losses as a result of the high-risk assets within their SIPPs.

The plaintiffs alleged they were sold these SIPPs through 9 different introducer firms and as a result were invested in single high-risk investments ranging from forestry schemes to overseas property.

Berkeley Burke withdrew their defence in this case, in order to focus on the FOS case proceedings.

As of September 2019, Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd went into administration with Hartley SAS buying the SIPP arm of the business.

What to do if you think you’ve been mis-sold?

If you want to know if you might be able to make a claim for compensation against Berkeley Burke or for the advice you received – we may be able to help you.

We offer a free initial check to see if you have a good case for compensation. If you have, we’ll explain your options. There’s no obligation to use our service.

For a free initial check fill in the enquiry form to arrange a suitable time for us to call you.

Or call 0114 2664216 to chat to one of the team.

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 Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.

We will not make or pursue a claim, or advise you to, if we know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that the claim does not have a good arguable basis, and or is fraudulent or frivolous.