Surge in claims as British expat retirees in Spain complain about mis-sold SIPPs

Pedro Gonçalves
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Surge in claims as British expat retirees in Spain complain about mis-sold SIPPs

A staggering £10bn worth of SIPPs may have been incorrectly dealt to hundreds of thousands of British retirees in Spain by dubious financial advisers which has sparked a number of claims.

At least 70,000 British pensioners are retired in Spain and the uncertainty surrounding their pensions once Britain exits the European Union has resulted in a flood of claims. If they have been mis-sold badly performing Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), with successful claimants looking to receive a average of a £30,000 windfall in compensation. 

At present the take-up of SIPPs claims is fast overtaking the PPI claims totals. Pension Claim Consulting alone are handling £4.2m worth of claims.

I would urge anyone living in Spain who has a SIPP that they were advised to set up to get them checked straight away"

"In the last year we have taken on 141 claims from expats with average compensation windfalls of around £30,000," Sarah Stokes, from Pension Claim, said 

"We are handling more claims from worried expats than ever before.

"Even though we may not leave the EU until the end of October many of our clients are putting in claims now because they are terrified their pensions will plummet after our exit," she told UK newspaper Express.

The majority of retired British expats are already feeling the cold winds of Brexit in the exchange rate between the euro and sterling, and are now scared that leaving the EU will disallow their claims for mis-selling of a financial product.

The majority of claimants are from traditionally working class employment sectors such as construction, shop staff, catering and nursing, most of whom would be easily misled by unscrupulous IFAs trawling Spain's retirement havens in search of victims who'd fall for the lure of a large lump sum rather than regular payments from their final salary pensions. 

One British MP, chair of the work and pensions committee Frank Field, is leading the fight against rogue IFAs who prey on pensions savers, especially in popular retirement destinations such as Spain. 

According to the committee, "parasitical introducers" and "dubious advisers" have shamelessly cheated many thousands of members of pension schemes, robbing them of the opportunity to receive pension payments guaranteed for their lifetimes. Field is now advising all expat pensioners who have opted for a SIPP to have the investment checked as soon as possible for mis-selling or any other irregularities.

Stokes added: "I would urge anyone living in Spain who has a SIPP that they were advised to set up to get them checked straight away."

 

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