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Liberty Sipp claims continue to grow as £52m paid out

December 2021
FT Adviser

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has paid out £51.8m in compensation on claims it received against defunct self-invested personal pension provider Liberty Sipp.

The lifeboat scheme told FTAdviserhas received 1,804 claims against the Sipp provider, which was declared in default in late January.

Of these 1,441 have been successful, 178 unsuccessful and a further 185 are still being processed.

According to the latest administrators report, published on Companies House last week (November 24), the joint administrators wrote to 2,903 clients identified as having complaints or potential complaints shortly after their appointment to advise the firm.

Therefore the FSCS could still see a number of claims heading its way.

Liberty Sipp was placed in default at the beginning of this year (January 25), which is when the FSCS started to pay out on successful claims.

In June a group action against Liberty Sipp fell apart after a statutory moratorium was placed on the proceedings.

But because Liberty Sipp fell into administration in April 2020, before the trial was due to take place, a statutory moratorium was placed on the proceedings and will remain in place unless an application is made to lift it.

According to the administrators report, no application has been made to lift the stay on proceedings.

FTAdviser understands Wixted & Co had acted on behalf of 28 claimants and that test cases were selected and a trial was initially due to be heard in September 2020.

The provider was advised to enter administration in April last year due to the number of claims it received relating to high-risk non-standard investments.

The Liberty Sipp Limited business and customer assets were sold to EBS Pensions Limited, part of the Embark Group, in October 2018, which then rebranded the Liberty Sipp to Option Sipp.

However, the legal entity Liberty Sipp Limited was not part of the sale and retained its liabilities, which were later passed on to the FSCS.

Liberty Sipp had facilitated high-risk investments in unregulated products such as Ethical Forestry.

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