A Claims Management Company

Mis-Sold investment - Berkeley Burkes

Latest update: 18th September, 2019 (Financial Conduct Authority)

Case Points

Total amount invested

Unknown

Why did people invest in it?

Berkeley Burke marketed themselves as a ‘trusted advisor to employers and private individuals’. They also offered the opportunity to invest in ethical investments, such as Sustainable Agroenergy.

Why was it mis-selling?

In 2014, the FOS ruled against Berkeley Burke for failing to properly conduct due diligence on a £29,000 unregulated collective investment scheme. Their appeal against this ruling was denied in August 2019.

Potential value of cases

Unknown.

Summary

Berkley Burke has been authorised by the FCA since 2008. In a landmark High Court ruling in 2018, Berkley Burke lost their case against the Financial Ombudsman Service, in which it was established that asking a Sipp provider to check an investment in a foreign country is simply an application of existing due diligence requirements, something that Berkley Burke had attempted to dispute, strongly suggesting that they had failed to do so.

This case dates to 2014 and relates to an investment made by an individual investor in 2011, in a green oil scheme called Sustainable Agroenergy. This investment is now infamous, and the directors involved were ultimately sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison. The FCA has also provided a “Dear CEO” letter, reminding SIPP providers of their Due Diligence requirements and their duty to protect customer’s interests and treat them fairly. Berkeley Burke is set to have to pay £1 million, in compensation after it failed to comply with a court order.

On 18th September 2019, the FCA appointed Adrian Allen and Diana Frangou of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as Joint Administrators of Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited. The firm was forcibly entered into administration when it proved unable to afford to defend redress claims made against it. As such, the Financial Claims Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has also declared it to be a failed firm, and is now accepting claims against the firm. They also stress that until civil court cases currently underway in the High Court are resolved, there are still some uncertainties as to whether they can offer compensation for these products. These claims were related to the sale of non-standard investments within its SIPPs between 2010 and 2012. Client assets have been sold to Hartley Pensions Ltd by the administrators in order to attempt to protect investor interests.

You are likely to have a potential claim on the basis of advice from a regulated firm. The claim above is only an example of a potential claim. Each claim is judged on its individual merits and as such, we cannot guarantee that your individual claim will be successful or that you indeed may have grounds for a claim.

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