Liberty SIPP is once more in the sights of lawyers who claim the self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider facilitated pension investments into risky unregulated overseas carbon credit schemes.
According to solicitors Anthony Philip James & Co (APJ), up to 560 people who invested via Liberty SIPP and other SIPP providers lost more than £12m after unregulated schemes Carbonex and Aston Lloyd failed.
APJ solicitor Glyn Taylor said: "Despite the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issuing warnings about the potential that carbon credit schemes were a sham, Liberty SIPP and the other providers involved failed in their due diligence process and failed to treat its customers fairly.
"Liberty SIPP allowed these investments within its SIPP where they have no intrinsic value and the regulation around these types of investments is not robust enough globally."
Taylor argued Principle 2 of the FCA's Principles for Business required firms to ensure they conduct and retain appropriate due diligence, which he said had not happened in this case.
"Investors have lost out on millions due to being introduced to these unregulated investment schemes," he added.
Taylor acknowledged SIPP operators were not responsible for recommendations given by third-party financial advisers, but insisted the provider may have breached the FCA's SIPP operator guidance. This expects SIPP operators to have procedures in place so they can properly vet introducers and identify possible instances of financial crime or consumer detriment.
Liberty SIPP has been contacted for comment.
Last month, APJ said court proceedings against Liberty SIPP would begin this year. Clients of APJ are alleging Liberty SIPP facilitated various unregulated investments through its SIPPs.
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