Avalon Investment Services Ltd
Under investigation 01 May 2018
You might be eligible for compensation
Avalon Investment Services Ltd (Avalon) was placed into Special Administration in February 2016 and was later dissolved in August 2018.
FSCS is accepting claims against this firm.
We’re aware that some Avalon customers were advised by authorised independent financial advisers to transfer existing pensions into the Avalon SIPP. We know that others were advised by unauthorised firms.
After the pension transfer, customers had their pension funds placed in high risk, non-standard investments. Some of these have since become illiquid, which means they can’t currently be sold or traded.
For FSCS to be able to pay your claim we must prove that Avalon failed in its due diligence - in other words, did Avalon do certain checks on the non-standard investments that would hold its customers' pension funds, before accepting them into its SIPP investment portfolio? Did it make sure they were appropriate for a SIPP, and did it identify any potential issues with them? Also, if it did identify potential issues, did it tell the customer?
There are currently civil claims cases against SIPP operators underway in the High Court regarding their due diligence requirements. The outcome of these court cases will affect whether we can pay a claim against SIPP operators like Avalon Investment Services Ltd.
However, we’ve already assessed and paid several customer claims against authorised IFAs declared in default by FSCS, in relation to advice they received to transfer their pension into the Avalon SIPP.
If you think that you’ve got a claim against Avalon, click the ‘Check if you can claim’ button to start the process.
FSCS is free to use and you don’t need to use a representative to make a claim. If you claim with us directly you will receive 100% of any compensation due.
See our investment compensation limits and their conditions on our Investments page.
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05 Dec, 2019
FSCS has now finished its investigations into Avalon. The investigations focused on the levels of due diligence Avalon carried out prior to allowing customers to make specific investments under their pensions.
We have determined that valid claims exist against Avalon.
As a result, claims made against Avalon relating to the firm’s due diligence have now been moved to our claims processing teams for assessment.
18 Oct, 2019
FSCS is working with third parties, including the insolvency practitioner, to get access to due diligence documents. These will allow us to understand the level of due diligence carried out by the firm – in other words, did it check the suitability of the investments, did it identify any problems and if it did, did it tell the customer?
Only when we have the answers to these questions we will know if there are valid claims against Avalon.
18 Jul, 2019
FSCS is continuing to look into the level of due diligence conducted by Avalon in allowing customers to make specific investments under their pensions.
Our investigations are also focussing the due diligence carried out by Avalon on certain firms who introduced customers to Avalon. These investigations will allow FSCS to determine whether valid claims exist against Avalon.
31 May, 2019
Although FSCS is accepting claims against Avalon, claims have not yet been passed to our claims processing teams for assessment. Firstly, we need to establish whether there are protected claims against Avalon. For this to happen we need to know that Avalon owes a civil liability to customers that would enable them to sue the firm in court.
FSCS is investigating the practices of Avalon, 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.
FSCS has been working closely with FCA and other firms to obtain documents that demonstrate the level of due diligence carried out by Avalon. We're also working with legal counsel so that we can determine whether protected claims exist. Once these investigations are complete we'll begin assessing claims.