On 26 July 2019 the Company received an interim costs order of £1.0m, in respect of a group litigation order, which it was unable to pay. This was the principal reason for the Company being placed into Administration on 18 September 2019.
Between 2010 and 2012, the Company accepted high-risk non-standard investments (NSI) into non-advised SIPPs.
In 2014 the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’) found against the Company, in respect of failings around the due diligence carried out by the Company before accepting one of these NSIs and ordered the Company to pay redress in respect of the losses incurred.
The Company disputed the FOS decision, but was unsuccessful in overturning the decision at a subsequent judicial review. In February 2019 the Company was granted the right to appeal the judicial review.
The Joint Administrators recognise the wider interest in this appeal from across the SIPP industry. However, the Joint Administrators’ primary responsibility is towards the Company’s creditors, and the safeguarding of the funds from the estate for the benefit of the creditors.
Having considered the position in detail with their professional advisers, the Joint Administrators have resolved not to continue with the appeal of the judicial review.
As set out in our previous press release, any new claims that clients wish to make against the Company should be directed to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the first instance. Those who are ineligible to claim via the FSCS, mainly non-personal clients, are invited to submit their claims to the Joint Administrators. Those who already have a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service do not need to take any action at the moment.
All other companies within the Berkeley Burke Group continue to trade normally and are not affected by the administration of Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited.