The Lifetime SIPP Company Ltd went into administration in 2018 following reports it had been unable to handle the volume of complaints made against them from unhappy investors seeking compensation.
Many of these complaints involved SIPP investors’ unsuitable exposure to high-risk investments such as:
Another high-risk investment which Lifetime had been heavily involved with was Harlequin Property, which in 2014 was dubbed a “property scandal”.
Harlequin took around £400m in investments through UK IFAs with the promise of guaranteed high returns from the luxury villas.
These returns unfortunately never transpired and in 2013 Lifetime were instructed by the regulator to write out to all their Harlequin investment clients and inform them that their investment had a nominal £1 value.
The FSCS is said to have paid nearly a £100m in compensation for advice in relation to Harlequin.
The FSCS declared Lifetime in default in 2018, something it does when it decides a firm cannot meet their financial obligations to clients.
In June this year they posted on their website that they were accepting claims against The Lifetime SIPP Company (Lifetime) and said the claims “… relate to the SIPP operators’ due diligence obligations when accepting customers’ investments.”
They also acknowledged “SIPP operator due diligence has been an industry ‘hot topic’ in recent years and FSCS is aware that there are a number of pending civil claims in the High Court against various SIPP operators in respect of alleged due diligence failings”
Lifetime is now in liquidation with Kingston Smith & Partners overseeing the process. Hartley SAS purchased the “untainted” SIPP part of the business.
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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.