FORMER work colleagues who took advice from a financial planner who went into liquidation are £650,000 worse off after cash was put in an unregulated offshore fund and other high risk investments.

Former senior executives Louise Brassey, 53, from Marlborough, and Jackie Naghten, 58, from London consulted with Chippenham-based Terence Brimble in 2011 after they took an enhanced payout to give up their defined benefit pension scheme.

Mr Brimble, working under Knightsbridge Financial Management, invested in a high-risk unregulated offshore fund, Premier New Earth Solutions Recycling Facilities. 

Ms Naghten invested £130,000 and Ms Brassey £42,000. But the fund was suspended in 2014 and collapsed in 2016.

All investors were left with nothing.

In the five years Mr Brimble was their adviser, Ms Naghten’s pension pot fell from £574,615 to £369,617.

Knightsbridge Financial Management went into liquidation in 2016, leaving 50 creditors with an outstanding debt of almost £1.2m. 

This meant the claimants were unable to seek redress from Mr Brimble’s professional indemnity insurance nor the Financial Ombudsman service, which only rules against existing firms.

The two women were each awarded £50,000 from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme but the organisation put Ms Naghten’s total loss at £471,462 and Ms Brassey’s at £181,698.

A Sunday Times investigation into Mr Brimble led to his advice being called “woefully lacking” by Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service.

Ms Brassey said he had invested her money to provide financial support to her two children after she died.

She said: “I wanted to use the money to provide a good future for my children when I pass away.”

Mr Brimble now operates under Knightsbridge Personal and Corporate Solutions, set up in 2016 and said advice provided in 2012 was in the client’s best interest at the time, and they had been made them aware of the risks involved and he had signed documentation.

He said he had liquidated his firm and set up a new one for tax efficiency. He also said he had invested his own pension in the now collapsed New Earth.

Mr Brimble said: “We currently look after over 400 clients, many of whom would be willing to attest that the advice they have been given by us over many years has, and continues to be, of the highest quality. Any suggestions that I failed to respond to the complaint are untrue.” 

He is now part of Swindon-based Intrinsic, a financial advisor network, which said all their advisers were subject to detailed vetting processes, which Mr Brimble passed.