Carey Pensions, now called Options UK Personal Pensions, is seeking permission from the UK supreme court to appeal the Adams v Carey case.
Options, which was acquired by STM Group in October 2018, believes that the court of appeal “erred in law in its application of s.27 and s.28 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, including in its consideration of what acts constituted the underlying relevant activities”.
On 1 April 2021, the court ruled that while Carey did not contravene the FCA Code of Conduct Sourcebook as Adams alleged, it did breach the FSMA when investing in storage units as Adams instructed the firm to do, and ordered the company to compensate its former clients as a result.
“The court of appeal’s findings in that respect are of significant general public importance and broader application to the entire financial services industry,” STM added. “These are issues which warrant consideration from the highest court.”
Unclear regulatory line
Alan Kentish, chief executive of STM Group, said: “It is a natural step for Options, having spoken with its advisers, to request leave to appeal to the supreme court.
“There are clearly some very significant factors here that will not only impact the Sipp market, but also the wider United Kingdom financial services market as a whole. It seems there could be significant unintended consequences flowing from the judgment.
“There are real risks for firms and third parties who may have inadvertently stepped over an unclear regulatory line. This is a wholly undesirable outcome for providers and firms involved in the financial services sector and will drive up costs for consumers.
“The whole market needs more guidance on this issue, and we hope that this would be forthcoming as part of any appeal to the supreme court.”