A Claims Management Company
Total amount invested
Why did people invest in it?
Designed 4 Life was a financial advice firm that was founded in 2002 in Southampton, which ran until July 2016.
Why was it mis-selling?
Designed 4 Life (D4L) entered into liquidation in July 2016, and has cost the FSCS substantial sums. However, the advisors formed a new firm which then bought the assets but not the liabilities of D4L. This is known as phoenixing.
Potential value of cases
Designed 4 Life was a Southampton based firm of Independent Financial Advisors that was formed in 2002. The firm offered a range of financial services, including SIPPs investments with non-standard assets.
In July 2016, the firm entered into voluntarily liquidation. This occurred due to complaints against Designed 4 Life which were brought to the Financial Ombudsman Service. There were three complaints that each involved SIPPs that contained Harlequin Property investments. In February 2014, these investments were valued at £1.
Designed 4 Life attempted to argue that they had only advised on the SIPP wrappers, not the contents. However, the FOS ruled that they could not have reasonably advised the SIPP wrapper was appropriate without first considering the contents of it, thus meaning they had failed to conduct appropriate due diligence.
However, when Designed 4 Life failed in 2016, the directors of the firm had already launched a new firm, TPC Investments, that shared the same purpose and address as Designed 4 Life. They then proceeded to purchase the client book and assets of Designed 4 Life during the dissolution of the firm, but did not take on the liabilities incurred. The client databases were sold by the liquidators for only £10,000. These sales occurred during August 2016 and October 2016.
This means that despite their mistakes, the directors are not facing consequences for their actions, and are instead still being allowed to profit from their actions at Designed 4 Life, leaving others to foot the bill. This is known as phoenixing. While not technically an illegal practice, it places a heavy burden on the FSCS, and has served to damage consumer trust in the financial sector. The firm was declared to be in default by the FSCS in March 2017, and by October 2017, the failed firm had cost the FSCS almost £500,000.
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