Specialising in financial mis-selling, Anthony Philip James & Co (APJ) allege that Liberty failed in its duty to treat customers fairly by accepting a high volume of clients who were unsuitable for self-invested personal pension (Sipp) investments from an unregulated introducer.
The 500 cases are reportedly worth £18m ($23m, €20m), with APJ seeking compensation to put its clients back into the position they would have been had they not moved out of their original pension schemes.
Ombudsman success story
APJ moved forward with the hundreds of claims after it received two positive rulings from the FOS in relation to another Sipp provider, Guinness Mahon.
The ombudsman determined that Guinness Mahon should have refused the business because it was aware the client was given advice by an unregulated introducer.
Glyn Taylor, solicitor at APJ, said: “It appears that the FOS has halted cases against Liberty Sipp, possibly due to the ongoing court cases; including Adams v Carey Pensions and the Berkeley Berke judicial review.
“However, the cases we have now submitted are almost identical to the Guinness Mahon cases, which FOS has ruled on, involving Liberty accepting high volumes of clients from an unregulated introducer.
“We believe that, if the FOS is making decisions on Guinness Mahon, they have no argument to halt the Liberty Sipp cases,” Taylor said.
He added that there are “initial indicators” from the FOS that suggest it is now considering Liberty Sipp cases.
Revenue up 35%
The cases come as Liberty announced record breaking results, with revenue up 35% and assets under management of nearly £3bn.