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SIPP administrators and due diligence on introducers (Options UK Personal Pensions v Financial Ombudsman Service)

The Administrative Court has refused a SIPP administrator permission to bring judicial review proceedings in respect of a Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) decision upholding a complaint by an individual who had invested pension savings into investments held in a SIPP and suffered significant loss. The FOS upheld the complaint that the SIPP administrator (referred to in the judgment as Carey, now called Options UK) had failed to carry out sufficient due diligence on the introducer firm. The SIPP administrator did not accept the provisional FOS decision, made further submissions and requested an oral hearing to explore the individual’s understanding of his investment and his and Carey's roles. Carey argued that the due diligence duty to which FOS referred was not an actionable duty that a Court would recognise. It also sought to argue that if the FOS was imposing a duty going beyond legal requirements then it was bound to give a clear explanation of that decision and the reasons for it.

Read the full article here.

Article written by Rowena Wisniewska Sethi, barrister at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.

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