Joint statement from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (the Ombudsman service) on an unregulated, overseas property investment scheme.
A number of companies in the overseas investment scheme, German Property Group (GPG), have recently entered preliminary bankruptcy proceedings in Germany. This means that any money you might have invested in this scheme is at risk and you need to take action now to help recover this. The GPG companies are incorporated in Germany and are not authorised by the FCA.
The FCA is aware that UK consumers have invested in GPG, either directly or via a self-invested personal pension scheme (SIPP) or small self-administered scheme (SASS) arrangement. We are working closely with the FSCS and the Ombudsman service on this matter and will be issuing further information as the situation develops.
If you invested your SIPP or SSAS in GPG through a financial adviser and/or a SIPP Operator in the UK and you believe you were mis-sold, you may be eligible for compensation. We are working with those financial advisers we have identified as advising UK customers to invest in GPG, as well as the SIPP operators we have identified that are holding people’s investments. However, there are actions you can take now, which are set out below.
How to complain to the Ombudsman service if the firm you dealt with is still trading
You should immediately contact the financial services firm that you have dealt with (for example, the financial adviser who advised you to invest in the GPG scheme and/or SIPP operator through which the money was invested) and submit a complaint. This means that the firm must take certain actions within certain time limits.
If you are unhappy with the response received from the firm, or do not hear from them within the relevant time period required by the FCA, the Ombudsman service may be able to help. It is a free and easy to use service that settles complaints between consumers and businesses that provide financial services.
It is important to note that every complaint to the Ombudsman service will be judged on its own individual merits.
Further information on how to complain can be found here.
Additional information on the award limits that apply.
How to submit a claim to the FSCS if the firm you dealt with is no longer trading
We are aware that certain financial advisers who advised on SIPP/SSAS investments into GPG, and SIPP operators who accepted investments in GPG, are no longer trading. In these cases, a claim should be made to the FSCS. You can contact your current financial adviser or SIPP operator to ask if this situation applies to you.
To make a claim for compensation with FSCS, you must be eligible under its rules. FSCS can pay compensation up to its statutory limits (either £50,000 or £85,000 depending on when the firm failed).
Further information about the FSCS can be found on its website.
It is completely free and easy to make a complaint to the Ombudsman service or to claim compensation from FSCS. You do not have to use a claims management company to make a complaint to the Ombudsman service or to seek compensation from the FSCS.
You can use a claims management company to make a claim, but they will charge you a fee.
As soon as information becomes available we will update you further.