We previously provided an update on Hartley Pensions Limited in July notifying consumers that the firm had entered administration, and Peter Kubik and Brian Johnson of UHY Hacker Young LLP had been appointed as joint administrators.
The joint administrators have written to consumers explaining the steps they are taking in the administration, and further information is provided on their website.
On Wednesday 23 November, a communication was sent to members of the pension schemes – administered by Hartley – by Tony Flanagan, a director of Hartley and the director of the companies that act as trustee of the Hartley SIPPS, without the agreement of either the joint administrators or the FCA.
The communication contains factual inaccuracies which may have caused customers concern.
Customers’ existing pension assets are currently unaffected by the firm going into administration. They are held by trustee firms, which are not regulated by the FCA and have not entered into insolvency. Pension assets cannot be removed without appropriate consent.
It is for the administrators to determine how the costs of transferring customers’ SIPPS to alternative regulated SIPP operators should be charged. However, if any deductions are required to be made from customers’ SIPPS, then the administrators will be required to make an application to court and any fees would be subject to the oversight of the court.
Hartley was subject to a number of FCA requirements due to serious operational, financial and regulatory issues. The firm entered into a number of voluntary requirements between February 2022 and June 2022. A copy of the requirements can be found on the Financial Services Register. As a result of these issues, the FCA also requested that the firm go into an insolvency process in the interest of clients. The firm sought professional insolvency advice, and, as a result, the director determined that it was insolvent and took steps to place it into administration.