Yet another SIPP provider, Corporate & Professional Pensions (C&PP), has got into trouble.

The directors had placed the firm into administration due to the number of complaints being upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Services against them.

High Risk, Unregulated Investments

C&PP was recently ordered to pay compensation to three clients in relation to their investments into the Platinum Agroforestry programme offered by Sustainable AgroEnergy (SA) – these were high risk and unregulated investments, not suitable for the average retail client.

C&PP argued that they had received a due diligence report issued by Citadel Trustees in relation to the investment. However, the Ombudsman found that whilst Citadel was a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated business, its report appeared to have been instructed by SA and provided to C&PP by SA. It was therefore not clear what, if any, independent due diligence was carried out by the SIPP provider.

C&PP also accepted introductions & investment instructions from unregulated introducers, in fact C&PP accepted 185 introductions from the same group of unregulated firms!

Therefore, the Ombudsman concluded that the providers due diligence process was not as required, leaving clients open to financial losses.

Who was involved:

Citadel Trustees /Highpoint Trustees

This firm was authorised and regulated by the FCA until May 2020.

The issue here was to determine if the trustees had failed to carry out sufficient due diligence in respect of non-standard investments for which the firm acted either as trustee or escrow agent.

Citadel, as they were known until 2014, were involved in investments such as; Sustainable AgroEnergy Plc, EcoPlanet Bamboo, Merco Bonds, Forest Lakes, Global Forestry Investments and Eco-Synergies Ltd.

S J Stone Ltd

Stuart John Stone was the director of this unregulated business.

At the time initial contact was made, C&PP already knew of Mr Stone by reputation and that he was regularly introducing clients to SIPP operators.

On several occasions, C&PP met Mr Stone face to face. Mr Stone was a director of Protea and told C&PP that it was his intention that Protea acquire advisory permissions from the FCA and then introduce clients to SIPP operators as a regulated advisor.

C&PP also knew Mr Stone had been an IFA in the past with Pengwern Wealth Management LLP.

Mr Stone was prosecuted, following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

In August 2013 it was announced he had been charged with various offences relating to fraud and bribery, and sentenced to imprisonment.

Protea Wealth Management

This was also an unregulated business. It was incorporated in November 2010 and dissolved March 2014. Stuart John Stone was the co-director.

C&PP explained to FOS that it was its understanding that, at the time of the events in this complaint, Protea had applied for authorisation from the FCA, and says Mr Stone gave it a reference number for an application he said had been made to the FCA.

Portwood Financial Services Ltd

Portwood Financial Services Ltd, also known as, was an unregulated business.

C&PP says it was not aware of this business, or its involvement with Liquid Financial Limited.

It seemed likely there was no such registered company at the time of the events this complaint is about.

We urge investors not to confuse the people using this trading name, with a company, only incorporated in 2012, dealing in sports equipment.

Unsuitable Pension Transfer or Investment Advice

If you had dealings with any of the firms involved and transferred your pension or invested money, you may have been given unsuitable advice and therefore should get your transaction reviewed by a claims expert.

This also applies to you if you received statements showing that your pension had been performing well, when in fact the investments were falling in value and were illiquid meaning you were not able to sell them and still cannot recover any value remaining.

Get Claims Advice

Take advantage of our pension claim consulting service. We offer a free assessment of your situation to find out if you may be owed money redress. Don’t delay because there are time limits to claim your compensation. The time to act is now!

Call us on 0333 358 0074 for an informal chat or email our compensation and claims experts at for a no obligation chat to explore your options and get a better understanding of how we work before deciding on the best course of action for your pension claim.

Low Fees, High Standards

If you have been cold called about a possible pension claim, had an unexpected doorstep visit or have found our website looking for a better deal, you are in good hands with us. ACL Consultancy Ltd have been in operation as a claims management company (CMC) for 10 years and have offered the lowest flat fee service in the industry since 2017.

We are able to work for a reasonable fee because we don’t buy your data from the companies involved in your claim and therefore don’t have to pay them in return. We pass these cost savings on to you. We have consistently demonstrated that high CMC fees are unjustified and don’t equate to better service or better outcomes for consumers. Our success is your gain.

Our team possess a deep knowledge of pension and investment compensation and welcome your call to find out if you too can make a successful claim so you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain by calling us on 0333 358 0074.