View more on these topics

Hundreds of members lose £13.7m in pension scam

Payment-Fine-Currency-Money-700.jpg

The Pensions Regulator has intervened in a case where 242 members from 17 pension schemes are believed to have lost around £13.7m to a scam.

In a final notice published today, TPR says three trustees – Alan Barratt, Susan Dalton and Julian Hanson, acting on the instructions of David Austin – misappropriated scheme funds.

Dalriada has been appointed as an independent trustee to take over governance of the funds in an attempt to prevent further losses.

TPR says Dalriada has managed to reclaim £400,000 so far but “for many hundreds of members, hard-earned savings have most likely been lost”.

According to the report, Barratt and Dalton were the trustees of nine and seven occupational scheme, respectively.

Austin is listed as the sole shareholder of Friends Trustee Limited, which registered the Friendly Pensions Retirement Fund as a master trust.

The regulator found evidence Barratt and Dalton received “large sums of money” into their personal accounts.

This includes cheques worth £37,000 paid to Dalton from the Regency Pension Investment schemes in June 2013, and £10,000 sent to Barratt from the Callahan Consulting scheme in January 2014.

In addition, both trustees received commission in breach of their fiduciary duty not to profit from the trust.

Documents for both trustees appear to show entitlement to 20 per cent commission of the profit made by Select Pension Investment.

Dalriada and the regulator have also noted “highly suspicious” payments, including £4m paid to the Friends Investment Company.

TPR executive director Andrew Warwick-Thompson says: “This complex case bears many of the hallmarks of a pension scam and should be seen as another reminder of why savers must remain vigilant against the threat of scams, which have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“Our appointment of an independent trustee has helped secure approximately £400,000 from the schemes, however for many hundreds members, hard-earned savings have most likely been lost.

“Our message is clear: if you’re cold-called or texted by people claiming they can help you to get early access to the cash in your pension or unusually high investment returns, stop, don’t be tempted, and put the phone down. You’re likely to lose all your money and may face a considerable tax charge.”

Recommended

Pension-pot-700.jpg
9

Over £9m stolen in pension liberation scams since April

Fraudsters have taken more than £9m from savers in the five months since April, twice the sum taken in the same period last year. Figures from the City of London police show that £9.1m worth of scams have been reported between April and August 2015, up from £4.5m. The figures also show that the sums […]

Labour-Supporters-Conference-2012-700x450.jpg
4

Standard Life: Pensions ‘rip-off’ rhetoric boosts scammers

A political focus on pensions rip-offs is leaving savers more vulnerable to scams, according to Standard Life’s head of pensions strategy Jamie Jenkins. Speaking to Money Marketing at the Labour party conference in Brighton today, Jenkins said attacks on the value for money offered by the industry are “unhelpful”. He said: “It’s for us to […]

Exploding-Piggy-Bank-700.jpg
11

Pension scam losses treble month after freedoms

Losses resulting from pension scams trebled in May, just a month into the roll out of the pension freedoms. National data collected by City of London police show reported losses shot up 235 per cent in May to £4.7m from £1.4m in April, according to the FT. There were 3,704 reports of pension liberation fraud […]

Justice-Fine-Ban-Court-Gavel-Judge-700x450.jpg

Suspected pension scam firms enter liquidation

Two firms behind suspected pension liberation schemes Capita Oak and Henley have been served a winding up order by the High Court in Manchester. In a hearing yesterday the companies were placed into liquidation and Ken Beasley was named as the official receiver, the Insolvency Service says. Kent-based Imperial Trustee Services was the trustee of […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. peter mulholland 12th October 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Friendly pension retirement fund hahah
    Lovely

  2. Add this to the Pension ‘Freedom’ scams and goodness knows what else – and they are consulting on slackening off regulation. The world has gone mad.

    • Hi Harry, I hope you are well. Yes, indeed, they should slacken off regulation for the honest advisers out here. By that I mean allow us to do our jobs without so much red tape for simple products to solve simple needs. All the regulation on the planet is not going to stop scammers from ripping off people. Exactly the same way as all the laws in the world will not stop criminals doing their activities. Both will exist regardless of what is put in place.

  3. These 242 members have not lost a penny.
    The adviser community has just been stung for another £13.7 million to the FSCS

Leave a comment