On 19 October 2021, the Directors of Forthplus Pensions Limited (“Forthplus” or the “Company”), a firm authorised and regulated by the FCA, appointed Andrew Poxon, Alex Cadwallader and Barry Stewart of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, insolvency practitioners, as Joint Administrators (the “Administrators”).
Forthplus are a pension provider and administrator, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It provided a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) scheme to approximately 2,500 customers. Most customers were UK expatriates. The value of assets under management at the date of the Administration was approximately £500m.
The demise of the Company follows a range of factors, most notably the impact of the inability to renew or extend professional indemnity insurance (PII). On 1 September 2021, the firm announced that it would put a hold on accepting new applications whilst it made arrangements regarding PII. However, after consultation with the FCA, it was also deemed appropriate to protect consumers and to cancel all policies which had not received their first transfer and cease all in-flight transfers. The impact of this resulted in the firm having to write down significant sums of revenue, and those losses placed the Company in breach of its FCA defined liquid capital requirement.
The Company’s position has been compounded by the uncertainty on the outcome and timing of a decision of the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) relating to a complaint made against the Company in October 2018, which could, in the event of a decision being upheld in favour of the complainant, lead to a number of further additional claims being made by customers.
Having explored all options available, the Board ultimately concluded that there was nothing that could be done in the short term given the current circumstances to rectify the position and the Company was no longer able to meet the threshold conditions to remain as a compliant business. Accordingly, the Board resolved that the Company was not able to continue operating and therefore steps should be taken to protect the interests of customers, creditors and stakeholders and the Company should be placed into Administration.
The Administrators are currently assessing the options available to them regarding the transfer of customers to an alternative FCA regulated SIPP Administrator. The Company and Administrators are in regular contact with the FCA regarding the proposed strategy.
The Administrators will be publishing detailed guidance on the next steps for creditors and customers in due course on their dedicated webpage for the Administration www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/forthplus. This website will be used to provide further updates and information as and when appropriate and creditors and customers are encouraged to monitor the website on an ongoing basis.
For all customer, creditor and non-press related enquires a dedicated email address has been set up [email protected] and we would encourage all queries to be directed to us via this channel. You may also call our dedicated call centre on +44 (0) 161 532 4621 for further support.