Cherish Wealth Management was a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider that became infamous for mis-selling alternative investments of a high-risk nature to retail customers. Rumours of severe conflicts of interest, links to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation, and mounting financial claims mired the firm in controversy before it entered liquidation in 2016.
It transpired that the firm’s former director owned the US housing scheme Invest US, an alternative investment that was offered under Cherish SIPP portfolios. Sales personnel marketed Invest US with annual returns of 15%, but litigation problems and poor market performance did not yield the promised financial results. To date, Invest US has accrued over £77 million in total from various investors and resulted in losses of up to £80,000. Financial claims against the investment scheme have been fraught with delays, leaving customers in limbo with no regard to their hard-earned pension savings.
The subsequent collapse of Cherish and its evident proclivity towards financial misconduct left the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) with an initial bill estimated in the region of £6.7 million. This figure partly comprised almost two hundred individual financial claims for SIPP products.
Mounting Financial Claims Against Cherish
Just two years after the firm went into liquidation, the FSCS is now looking to recover as much as £33.7 million from the firm’s liquidators to cover the cost of mounting financial claims. The FSCS has admitted to receiving as many as 1,973 financial claims against the firm, of which 1,598 have been upheld so far. This staggering figure represents over a quarter of the FSCS’s entire levy for financial claims from last year.
Liquidators believe that this latest, bloated sum is intended to cover the cost of inevitable future claims against the firm. They strongly believe that former clients may be unaware of the circumspect situation leading to the collapse of Cherish Wealth Management. This is despite the fact that a widely-circulated ITV documentary laid-bare the connections between the former director of Cherish and then owner of Invest US, Steven Wright.
Wright has repeatedly claimed that he was at no point involved in the advice offered to Cherish customers, maintaining that there was no conflict of interest. A spokesperson for Steven Wright claimed:
“Decisions about its investments in any product it selected, in accordance with the rules that apply to a regulated financial services company, were clearly its own decisions. If Cherish failed in those duties, it has nothing to do with Wright.”
Adding additional fuel to the fire are Cherish’s apparent links to the third-party introducer Avacade. The unregulated organisation is due in court with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over its links to the Ethical Forestry investment scheme.
Financial Claims with Money and Me Claims
Money and Me Claims specialises in this area of pension compensation, with demonstrable experience helping financial claimants receive redress from the appropriate source. We have championed cases against SIPP providers directly and guided financial claims with both the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the FSCS. Multiple clients of ours have received up to the maximum FSCS financial claims pay out of £50,000.
If you believe you have been mis-sold a SIPP product by Cherish Wealth Management, or recognise the aforementioned alternative investments from your own underperforming portfolio, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We operate on a no win – no fee* basis to ensure that your financial claim comes first.
*See our full T&Cs for charging structures