Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Ltd
In administration: 17 February 2020
You might be eligible for compensation
Guinness Mahon Trust Corporation Ltd (GMTC) has failed and was placed into administration on 17 February 2020. As a result, FSCS is accepting claims against this firm.
We're aware that independent financial advisers recommended many GMTC customers to transfer their existing pensions into a Guinness Mahon SIPP. And that after the 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 GMTC failed in its due diligence - in other words, did GMTC do certain checks on the non-standard investments that would hold their 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 customers?
There are currently civil claims cases against SIPP operators underway in the High Court. The outcome of these court cases will affect whether we can pay a claim against SIPP operators like GMTC.
If you already have a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service, you don't need to take any action at the moment. The FOS will be in touch with you shortly to tell you what the next step will be.
If you think that you’ve got a claim against GMTC, 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 bring your claim to 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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17 Feb, 2020
To consider claims against a failed firm, FSCS must be satisfied that:
- customers have first exhausted any right to claim against any connected firms,
- these connected firms are still trading.
FSCS understands that FCA-authorised advisers may have recommended transfers of existing pensions or investments through a Guinness Mahon SIPP.
If you were advised by an FCA-authorised adviser that’s still trading to transfer your existing pension or to invest through a Guinness Mahon SIPP, you need to complain to them before FSCS can consider your claim against GMTC. If your adviser rejects your complaint, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
If you were advised by an FCA-authorised adviser that’s now not trading to transfer your existing pension into or invest through a Guinness Mahon SIPP, you should submit a claim to FSCS against your financial adviser.
FSCS considers different factors when calculating losses on pension advice (a claim against your financial adviser) compared to SIPP investments (a claim against your SIPP provider).
This means you may be eligible to receive more compensation for any losses by claiming against your financial advisor than if you just made a claim against your SIPP provider.
You can check to see whether your financial adviser has ever been authorised by FCA by visiting its website.
Although FSCS is accepting claims against GMTC, we will not immediately pass these to our claims processing teams for assessment. Firstly, we need to establish whether there are valid claims against GMTC. For this to happen we need to know that GMTC owes a civil liability to customers. In other words, that a UK court would hold the failed firm responsible for a customer’s losses.
FSCS is working closely with the firm’s administrators and is investigating the practices of GMTC, 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.