Better Retirement Group Ltd, a long-standing financial advisory firm with over 25 years of trading experience, has recently faced significant scrutiny and regulatory actions. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) withdrew their defined benefit transfer permissions in 2020, ultimately leading to the cessation of all regulated activities by Better Retirement Group (BRG).
In this article post, we will explore the latest developments surrounding BRG, their association with other firms, such as Fiducia Wealth Solutions, and the impact on individuals who have transferred their pensions.
Regulator Actions and Controversies
The FCA's decision to withdraw BRG's defined benefit transfer permissions followed concerns about their advice and practices. Subsequently, the FCA ordered BRG to cease all regulated activity, leaving the firm in a precarious position.
However, it is worth noting that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) had initially accepted claims against BRG but later reversed this decision when the company managed to avoid formal liquidation.
SVS Securities and the Catalyst for Closure
MD Stuart Bayliss of BRG has pointed to SVS Securities, a discretionary fund manager that entered administration in late 2019, as the catalyst for BRG's closure. Allegedly, BRG advised several clients to transfer their workplace pensions into Self-Invested Personal Pension schemes (SIPPs), with SVS Securities managing the pension investments.
While Bayliss claims that BRG was not responsible for the investment advice, FCA regulations clearly state that pension transfers should not be arranged without knowledge of where the pension funds will be invested.
The Trading Styles of BRG: SIPP Club and Fiducia Wealth Solutions
BRG operated under multiple trading styles, two notable ones being the SIPP Club and Fiducia Wealth Solutions. The SIPP Club facilitated investments in high-risk, illiquid ventures such as the German Property Group ("Dolphin") for supposedly high net worth investors. It became a part of BRG in 2017 after being associated with another failed firm, WSW Financial Services.
Fiducia Wealth Solutions, on the other hand, provided investment advice into SVS Securities following pension transfer recommendations made by BRG.
The Multitude of Trading Names
Better Retirement Group Ltd traded under a wide range of names, including Advies Wealth, Arlington Financial, Better Annuity, Better Care, Better Drawdown, Better Equity Release, and many others. This extensive list highlights the complexity and interconnectedness of the firm's operations.
Seeking Assistance and Resolution
If you recognise any of the aforementioned trading names or have transferred a final salary or workplace pension through BRG, it is crucial to seek immediate assistance.
Contact our team at CP Financial Claims to explore your options and obtain guidance on pursuing compensation for potential financial losses.
Implications for Affected Investors and the Industry
The repercussions of Better Retirement Group's actions extend beyond the firm itself. The collapse of Fiducia Wealth Solutions, allegedly involved in the Steelworker pension fiasco and connected to DM SVS Securities, has left many investors facing financial uncertainty.
According to recent data from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the number of complaints related to mis-sold pensions has been on the rise. In 2022 alone, the FOS received over 5,000 complaints related to pension transfers and advice, indicating the scale of the issue and the potential impact on individuals' financial well-being.
It underscores the importance of ensuring that financial advisory firms provide accurate and suitable advice to protect investors' interests.
Seeking Legal Recourse and Compensation
For those who have been affected by the actions of Better Retirement Group Ltd or any of its trading names, it is crucial to explore avenues for legal recourse and potential compensation.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) offers protection to individuals who have suffered financial losses due to the actions of authorised firms. By filing a claim with the FSCS, eligible individuals may be able to recover a portion or all of their lost investments.
It is important to gather all relevant documentation and evidence to support your claim, such as records of communication with BRG, pension transfer agreements, and investment statements. Seeking legal advice from professionals specialising in financial mis-selling cases can significantly increase the chances of a successful claim.
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