German Property Group (GPG) companies enter preliminary bankruptcy proceedings

The GPG companies (also known as Dolphin Capital/Dolphin Trust/Red Rock) are not authorised by the FCA. Read our joint statement with the FSCS and the Financial Ombudsman Service on what you need to do if you invested in this 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.

For more information on your investment, you should contact the German insolvency administrator, BBL Brockdorff & Partner (BBL). You can contact BBL directly at [email protected], or visit www.gpg-inso.de, where you have the option to register and submit a claim online.

In addition, if you would like to press charges or appear as a witness, you may contact the German Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is in charge of criminal proceedings. The address is Volgersweg 67, 30175 Hanover. Visit their website for other ways to contact them. Please give file number NZS 5413 Js 12435/20 as a reference.

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 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (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.

Update: 4 February 2021

We are aware that a number of attempts are being made to potentially scam GPG investors into parting with more money by making claims that some or all of their original investment can be returned them.

We have seen several letters purporting to be from a GPG company which bear the FSCS logo, as well as the Investors in People – Gold logo. No GPG company was regulated by the FCA and, as such, no GPG company is directly protected by FSCS, nor should it be using the FSCS logo (although regulated advice to invest in GPG may be protected as set out above). These letters appear to be scams and you should not send money in response to them.

We have seen other letters in a very similar format, again using the FSCS and Investors in People logos, but bearing the name of an unconnected property investment company, which regards the letters as fraudulent. These letters carry the address of a serviced office facility in Fleet Street, London EC4. Again, these appear to be scams and you should not send any money in response to them.

Other features of the scam letters we have seen are:

  • a claim that assets will be distributed on a ‘first come first served’ basis under the German insolvency process
  • a claim that certain German taxes need to be paid to unlock repayments from GPG (which could allegedly be reclaimed from FSCS)
  • a firm (purporting to be based in Malaysia) contacting investors in GPG with an offer to buy back their investment in return for a substantial 'legal fee'

Any letter making these or similar claims should be treated with extreme caution and we strongly advise you against engaging with the people sending them.

Any money you send in response to such a letter is likely to be lost forever. We would urge any investor who is considering responding to any offers, to seek independent legal and financial advice before committing to parting with any further funds.

Claims should be made through the German insolvency administrator as outlined above, or where relevant to the Financial Ombudsman Service or FSCS.

Page updates

04/02/2021: Information added 4 February 2021 update added in place of previous 17 November 2020 update