Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Limited
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On 17 February 2020, following complaints in relation to historic high-risk non-standard investments, the directors of Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Limited (“Guinness Mahon”) appointed Smith & Williamson LLP as Joint Administrators.
Smith & Williamson LLP has negotiated a ‘pre-pack sale’ of Guinness Mahon from administration. In practice, what this will mean is that the assets of Guinness Mahon will be sold to a new SIPP administrator who will take over the operation and management of the SIPPs. The purchaser is Hartley Pensions Limited.
This could potentially lead to customers who have suffered financial losses on pension investments made through a Guinness Mahon SIPP to seek compensation using claims procedures established by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”).
It is possible that Guinness Mahon, in some instances, failed to comply with their regulatory duties to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence on the investments that were made through the pension products they provided.
Due to the fact that SIPPs provided by Guinness Mahon were often used to invest into high risk, unregulated funds and asset classes, there may be strong grounds for their clients to argue that there has been a failure to exercise this due diligence. It follows that those affected may be able to recover compensation for losses sustained through dealings with Guinness Mahon as a result.
The FSCS commented:
“Although FSCS is accepting claims against Guinness Mahon, we will not immediately pass these to our claims processing teams for assessment. Firstly, we need to establish whether there are valid claims against Guinness Mahon. For this to happen we need to know that Guinness Mahon owes a civil liability to customers. In other words, that a UK court would hold the failed firm responsible for a customer’s losses. FSCS is working closely with the firm’s administrators and is investigating the practices of Guinness Mahon, specifically seeking to establish what levels of due diligence were carried out by the firm, prior to permitting customers to make specific investments under their pensions.”
We are currently acting for clients who have suffered losses on pension investments with Guinness Mahon. We have already been successful in many cases where SIPP operators have overseen high risk pension investments into foreign land investments, property developments, storage units, carbon credits, illiquid investments and other high risk investments. Our expertise in these types of claims in well documented given our involvement in many of the ground-breaking cases the FSCS has referred to.
If you are similarly affected then we would like to hear from you as we may be able to assist you in bringing a No win, No fee claim to recover your losses. Please call us on 0808 178 5373 for further advice, or fill in the form and one of our Solicitors will call you back at a convenient time.
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