Last week an ex-director of an advisory firm was banned for Sipp related failings that left many customers facing losing all of their pension funds.
Robert Shaw, who worked at TailorMade Independent Ltd, was barred from senior positions in financial services and fined £165,900 by the FCA.
John Moret, principal of MoretoSipps, was left feeling “yet more despair and disillusionment” when he read the final notice relating to the case.
Writing in his exclusive blog for sister website Sipps Professional, he said: “I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised at anything that emerges from the regulator on the subject of Sipps. There have been numerous well documented failures in the advice regime governing Sipps that it’s hard to believe that worse could follow.”
The FCA found Mr Shaw “failed to ensure that TMI assessed the suitability of investments made through Sipps for its customers, and failed to ensure that TMI identified and managed its conflicts of interests.”
His case connected to the investment of £112,420,985 by 1,661 customers into investment products between 2010 and 2013. Many of these were not typically permitted by their existing pension schemes, the FCA said.
Mr Moret said: “I hope that there are no more cases like this to emerge – although my confidence is low.
“The damage caused to the Sipp market and the costs to the industry –and ultimately new and existing customers - is huge. Once again a combination of greed, ignorance and inertia have brought the whole industry into disrepute. “And this at a time when the concerns around pensions scamming linked to the new freedoms at retirement are growing all the time –with some justification it would seem.”
He called for Sipp providers to “step up to the plate” and posed the question: who should be responsible for compensating investors?