Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Limited

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Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Limited enter Into Administration – February 2020

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 0800 152 2620 for further advice, or fill in the form and one of our Solicitors will call you back at a convenient time.

Why Choose Us?

  • We have over 15 years’ specialist experience in financial services professional negligence with a team of lawyers working exclusively on these cases.
  • You only normally get one shot at making a pension or investment mis-selling claim.  If it is not done properly it can be rejected.  It is important you submit the right evidence, presented in the right way and emphasising important points.  Unlike claims submitted to the Ombudsman who only uphold up to 60% of pension and investment complaints*, if we take your case on and it is within time limits, we are successful in over 95% of our cases.
  • We only operate on a “no win, no fee” basis.  If you are not successful you do not pay us a penny.
  • We are leaders in pension and investment negligent law and are frequently asked by newspapers, TV and radio for commentary on this area of law.  We also give lectures on our specialist work to other lawyers.
  • We are pursuing several ground-breaking group claims.  One such case was Adams v Options SIPP.  Hundreds of our clients had their pensions defrauded by unregulated introducers and advisers.  These advisers had disappeared with the money and the Ombudsman had rejected many complaints because these advisers were unregulated.  We pursued claims against the self-invested personal pension (SIPP) operators for failing to make proper checks on these introducers and other regulatory breaches.  After years of fighting, including losing the first court case, we persuaded the Court of Appeal these pension operators were liable.  Thousands of pensioners have been able to recover their lost pensions as a result.

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Mis-selling or mis-management by a SIPP Operator?

Have you suffered financial losses on a SIPP operated by a SIPP operator? If so, then you may have grounds for bringing a No Win No Fee claim.

Some SIPP operators have entered into dealings with third party advisers who are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to give pension or investment advice. This is despite their regulatory body publishing alerts and giving warnings against such actions.

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Mis-sold or mis-managed investment or pension?

  • You were sold an investment without having been properly advised of the risks
  • Your personal circumstances or attitude to risk wasn’t properly considered
  • You were sold a SIPP or poor returning annuity
  • You were advised to invest all or most of your savings into a single investment
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