On 23rd May, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared two firms facing 337 claims between them, Wellington Court Financial Services Ltd and Old Park Capital Limited, in default.
Wellington Court Financial Services Ltd
Wellington Court failed facing 329 open claims, which are mostly related to pension and self-invested personal pension (SIPP) advice.
The firm was founded in Ireland before passporting into the UK and had a Devon-based office that closed at the end of 2021.
From 19th December 2016, Wellington Court had Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) permission to conduct certain regulated activities, including providing investment and pension transfer advice. Before this, the company was only authorised to conduct insurance mediation and distribution.
The FSCS has been working with the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to investigate the firm’s activities. The lifeboat fund also said the FOS had upheld many complaints against Wellington Court relating to the firm’s involvement in pension transfers into a SIPP administered by Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation (GMTC) Ltd, which was declared in default in October 2020.
Where Wellington Court advised on such transfers, the FSCS has asked clients to exhaust their rights against the firm via the FOS before it can consider claims against GMTC.
As Wellington Court failed to satisfy the FOS compensation awards, the FSCS will now deal with and pay any valid claims up to its £85,000 compensation cap.
Old Park Capital Limited
Old Park, an asset management firm founded in 2009, failed facing eight claims related to investments. The firm is also facing a claim relating to a business premises renovation allowance scheme that it previously operated.
Another firm under investigation
In addition to declaring the two defaults, the FSCS also disclosed that it was investigating Abana Unipessoal Lda, a Portuguese firm that passported into the UK on a services basis before the end of 2020.
Abana’s passport only covered the firm to conduct insurance intermediation activities in the UK; however, the lifeboat fund has determined the firm performed regulated activities outside of these permissions, including arranging pension transfers.
The FSCS is now accepting claims against the firm and will declare it in default should it find any claims to be valid. The lifeboat fund confirmed that none of the claims against Abana relates to the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) scandal.
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