Steelworker’s Pension Scandal!

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The UK financial regulator has been accused of “sleepwalking into another huge mis-selling scandal” by a Labour MP, after an investigation into how thousands of former steelworkers may have lost out following complex pension transfers that earned financial advisers large fees.

Tata was forced to offload the £15bn BSPS to pave the way for a 50-50 merger of its European operations with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp to create the second biggest steel producer in Europe after ArcelorMittal.

But more than 2,000 steelworkers subsequently transferred out of their final-salary schemes after receiving allegedly unsuitable advice.

The FCA is now broadening its probe into the pension’s advice given to people leaving final salary-style pension schemes, demanding information from 45 advisory firms.

Reports across national media have raised concerns about a ‘feeding frenzy’ of advisers targeting steel workers as their pension scheme closes.

One firm – Active Wealth UK – has been responsible for a significant number of pension transfers out of PSPS. Back in November, it voluntarily agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority to cease new pension business. Earlier this week, the FCA said three 0ther firms had agreed to stop carrying out new pension business in relation to BSPS transfers.

Members of the BSPS who were advised by Active Wealth to transfer out of the BSPS are facing more bad news, after it emerged that they will have to pay a 5% charge if they want to leave the fund they are now invested in.

Several BSPS members were advised by Active Wealth to transfer out of their final salary pension and invest in the 5alpha Conservative fund, managed by Newscape Capital Group. It has an exit charge of 5% for the first year of investment, reducing by 1% for every year the client stays invested, according to the fund’s factsheet.

In one case, a client would have to pay £17,000 to withdraw from the fund in the first year!

If you think that you have been affected by poor advice given to steelworkers and are not getting the pension you were expecting or are going to have to pay to leave the scheme, contact us today on 01942 619911 and speak to one of our advisors to see if you may be entitled to compensation for the advice given.

 


Miss-sold SIPP?

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The FSCS has declared three Sipp providers in default.

These are:

  • Stadia Trustees Limited;
  • Brooklands Trustees Limited;
  • Montpelier Pension Administration Limited

In its business plan the FSCS said it has received 150 claims against these companies over due diligence failings ‘but we expect to receive many more claims in 2018/19’.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently given warnings about Sipp firms accepting business from unregulated introducers. If you have suffered losses to your pension due to dealing with these or any other regulated company please contact us today on 01925 619911 to see if you can recover your money.


Were you Miss-led about your Pension Advice?

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15 more companies added to the list of companies in default.

Consumers could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with any of the 15 failed financial firms (listed below) the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared in default during November and December 2017.

LONDON

  • Nationwide Taxi Sale, 98 RAILWAY ARCHES, E2 6JG Fairfax I.S. PLC, C/O BDO LLP, W1U 7EU
  • Alan Day (Holdings), 606 GREAT CAMBRIDGE ROAD, ENFIELD, EN1 3WX

WEST MIDLANDS

  • Foley Financial Services Limited, FINANCE HOUSE, 106 FOLEY ROAD WEST, B74 3NP SOUTH WEST
  • George White Motors Limited, ATHENA AVENUE, ELGIN INDUSTRIAL AVENUE, SN2 8EJ
  • Knightsbridge Financial Management Limited, 9 LORD WILMOT HOUSE, CAVALIER COURT, SN14 6LH

SOUTH EAST

  • Approach (UK) Limited, NEW STREET, ANDOVER, SP10 1DS
  • Richfield Limited, 70 THE BROADWAY, CHESHAM, HP5 1EG
  • Aspen Financial Planning Limited, 87 HOPEWEL DRIVE, CHATHAM, ME5 7NL

NORTH WEST

  • Bcf Solutions, 55 BACK LANE, WN6 9LH
  • Luapkram Limited (formerly Ashton Hoyle Limited), 7 PAYNTER CLOSE, BARROW, CLITHEROE, LANCASHIRE, BB7 9FA

NORTHERN IRELAND

  • M & P Financial Planning Limited, 12 DUNMORE STREET, BT52 1EL

WALES

  • Available Mortgages, 1 PRIORY VIEW, LANGSTONE, NP18 2NZ
  • Cumulus Investment Management Limited, REGUS HOUSE, MALTHOUSE AVENUE, CF23 8RU
  • Park Grove Financial Management Limited, MARINE DRIVE, 275 COWBRIDGE ROAD EAST, CF5 1JB

 

If you took financial advice from any of these companies please contact us today on 01942 619911 and we will be able to advise you about any compensation that you may be entitled to.


TailorMade Independant Ltd Pension Woes!

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In 2015 Robert Shaw, former director of advisory firm TailorMade Independent Ltd (TMI), was banned from senior positions in financial services and fined £165,900 by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA found Mr Shaw failed to ensure that TMI assessed the suitability of investments made through self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) for its customers, and failed to ensure that TMI identified and managed its conflicts of interests.

The FCA said – “Robert Shaw exposed customers to risky investments without considering if these products would meet their needs. In addition, he personally benefitted from sales of these products without revealing to customers the full extent of the benefits he received. His actions mean that many customers faced losing all of their hard earned pension funds. This is not the conduct we expect of senior individuals.”

The FCA found that Mr Shaw benefitted financially from being the director and shareholder of TailorMade Alternative Investments (TMAI), an unregulated introducer, which referred clients to TMI.  The financial benefit he received created a conflict of interest with his duty to TMI’s customers to run the business compliantly. These payments created a conflict of interest and so should have been identified, and then disclosed to customers. However, no adequate disclosure was made.

TMI provided advice to customers on transferring their existing pension funds into unregulated investments such as green oil, biofuels, farmland and overseas property via SIPPs. Between 2010 and 2013, 1,661 customers invested £112,420,985 in these investment products, many of which were not typically permitted by their existing pension schemes. More than half of the affected customers invested in overseas property operated by the Harlequin group of companies, which are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

TMI has ceased trading and is now in liquidation. If you were dealing with TMI in or before 2015 and were persuaded to transfer your pension contact us today on 01942 619911 or by email at info@compiclaims.com

*TailorMade Independent is in no way connected to Taylor Made Financial Planning LLP.


More Pension Scams Uncovered!

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The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into storage unit investment schemes, and revealed that more than £120m has been poured into them.

The SFO says it is probing several firms, including Capita Oak Pension and Henley Retirement Benefit, plus some schemes that included investments in other products. It adds that more than 1,000 individual investors are thought to be affected by the alleged fraud, though it thinks the number could be much higher.

“Pension liberation” scams – where people are persuaded to transfer or cash in their pension pots and put the money into pension investments – have been around for years, but there has been a surge in activity since April 2015 when the government introduced reforms giving over-55s more freedom in terms of what they can do with their retirement cash.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be collecting data from all financial advice firms which hold pension transfer permissions during this year.

In October, the FCA revealed that advice in more than half of the defined benefit pension (DB) transfers where the recommendation was to move the retirement pot was unsuitable or unclear.

From a total of 88 DB transfers analysed by the watchdog since October 2015, only 47 per cent were suitable. The regulator found that 17 per cent were unsuitable and in the remaining 36 per cent suitability was unclear.

The ability to transfer your pension into something that on the face of it looks like it will generate extra income for your retirement is an attractive proposition for many people but should be considered only after realising that there is a possibility of losing money!

If what you are being offered looks to be too good to be true it probably is!

If you think that you have been given poor pension advice and as a result your pension is not performing as expected contact us today on 01942 619911 or by email at info@compiclaims.com.


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