FCA halts new contributions at troubled Hartley Pensions



The FCA has banned troubled SIPP provider Hartley Pensions Limited from accepting new pension contributions.

The FCA intervened this afternoon at Hartley’s request as the firm struggles to deal with a number of “issues.”

Hartley requested the FCA to impose restrictions preventing it from accepting ongoing contributions into the SIPPs and SASSs administered by it.

Hartley will also temporarily cease transfers or switches of SIPPs or SSASs until 22 July at the earliest, which the FCA has agreed to. 

Earlier in the year, on 4 March, Hartley was banned from taking on new business by the FCA. An asset sale restriction was also put in place.

Hartley provides SIPPs and also provides administration for a small number of SSAS (Small Self-Administered Schemes), regulated by The Pensions Regulator.

Under the term of the restrictions Hartley can not accept any new or ongoing contributions into a SIPP or SSAS, or move SIPPs or SSASs to another provider. 

The FCA said the requirements have been imposed due to a number of “serious operational and regulatory issues” that the firm is attempting to deal with and says they are intended to protect the firm’s customers.

Neither the FCA nor Hartley have made clear yet what the issues are.

Clients withdrawing money from their SIPP can continue to do so and pension payments will continue to be made.  

Hartley is currently seeking another another SIPP operator to take over the running of Hartley Pensions.  

Hartley Pensions will be writing to clients shortly to explain the situation and what it means for them. 

The FCA says existing SIPPs and SSAS assets are unaffected by these restrictions as they are held on trust by separate trustee companies.  

Further information is available on the FCA website or from Hartley Pensions on 0117 316 9991. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hartley Pensions remains authorised by the FCA. 

FCA staff are continuing to work with the firm and its problems but the FCA says that all customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud and beware of being cold called by someone claiming to be from Hartley Pensions.

Hartley Pensions has taken over the client books from several failed SIPP providers in recent years. It bought the Guinness Mahon book in February 2020 after the firm collapsed. The deal meant the transfer of 4,000 SIPPs previously administered by GMTC which suffered a string of problems and legal actions from unhappy clients.

Other SIPP books the firm has acquired in recent years include GPC, Berkeley Burke SIPP and Greyfriars AM.