A Pension Introducer is a marketing company or individual whose business is to “introduce” you to a Financial Adviser, Provider or Product.
Unregulated means they are not authorised by the FCA to provide financial services such as giving advice on pension transfers and investments.
If you are one of the many people who received a “cold call” offering a Free Pension Review then it’s more than likely that you were speaking to an Introducer.
The outcome of these pension reviews is usually a recommendation to invest in a product which may not be FCA regulated and for which the Introducer will receive a commission if the investment is made.
The client will then be passed on to a regulated Adviser or SIPP provider to undertake the transfer or investment.
Unfortunately, following these recommendations has led many people to place their pension funds into unsuitable investments such as Car Parks, Store Pods, Overseas Developments, to name a few. This is quite often done through a SIPP pension transfer.
Cold calling was banned by the government in 2017.
It’s quite a common scenario in pension and investment mis-selling, for the Introducer to pass the client on to an Independent Financial Adviser. The IFA then advises on the SIPP transfer, but not on the unregulated investment.
However, as part of their regulated duty they should also consider the investment as part of the advice they have given.
Unfortunately, many advisers either didn’t realise this or purposely turned a blind eye and facilitated transfers that should have been deemed unsuitable because of the investment in the SIPP.
It may also have been the case that the clients existing arrangement better suited their personal circumstances. This would also mean advice to transfer may have been unsuitable.
Many SIPP providers accepted business from unauthorised introducers on the basis that they would not be liable for any investment advice and that the SIPP was simply a way to enable the client to choose investments on their own or with the aid of an IFA.
However, successful claims are now being made against SIPP providers and it is clear that the FCA rules mean as a regulated entity they are responsible for applying adequate due diligence to the investments in their SIPPs and any 3rd parties they accept business from.
Unregulated Introducers fall outside of the FCA’s jurisdiction which means it’s harder to hold them accountable and to make a claim. It also means if the company has failed you can’t access the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
However, regulated Financial Advisers and SIPP Providers are subject to FCA rules and if they were involved in your pension transfer or investment you may be able to make a claim.
You could have a case against the Adviser or SIPP provider if they have failed to act in your best interests. For example – by giving you unsuitable investment advice or exercising insufficient due diligence in respect of accepting your business or the investment involved.
If you’ve taken up the offer of a free pensions review and/or any of the above names seem familiar to your current investment then you’d be wise to check as you may be able to make a claim.
A simple way is to get in touch and have a free assessment by one of our mis-selling assessors.
It’s a brief chat in which we can tell you if you may have a case and how you can make a claim and there’s no obligation to use our service.Get in touch
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.