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Ombudsman backs L&G and Scottish Widows in pension scam complaint

The Pensions Ombudsman has thrown out two complaints made against providers who allowed a member to transfer to a suspected liberation scheme.

Joseph Winning filed complaints against Legal & General and Scottish Widows after the firms completed his request to transfer around £50,000 to the Capita Oak Pension Scheme.

Winning says the providers failed to perform appropriate checks before transferring the funds which he now cannot find.

Both transfers were made in 2012, before The Pensions Regulator issued guidance to providers about dealing with pension liberation and scams. Because of the timing, the Ombudsman Tony King says he could not apply “present standards of practice to a past situation”.

King did not find that either provider should have carried out greater due diligence and adds that even if they did “that would not necessarily lead to the reinstatement of his benefits”.

He says that while he has “great sympathy” for Winning – who said the main reason he transferred was because he considered the Capita scheme legitimate because it was registered with HMRC – there was no administrative failure on the part of the providers.

In December, the Ombudsman ordered Capita Oak to return funds to an individual known as Mr. X but warned the money may have already “disappeared”.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “Ombudsman Tony King says he could not apply “present standards of practice to a past situation”. That’s more like it.

    But current situation is pretty hairy all round with new pensions freedom for scammers. Just the other day, I received a pitch to consider this fantastic high returns, no risk alternative home for my pension funds:

    “Achieving underpinned and assured investment return rates (ROI) of at least 10%, and in a majority of cases much closer to 20%, is possible in the prevailing economic climate via alternatives to moribund financial markets.
    You probably do not know much about investing in art, renewable energy, property development or advanced technology as yet.
    [We have] a much wider knowledge because we work extensively in each of field and have achieved impressive results over many years. We understand the fundamentals.
    When it comes to investing wisely in each sector, we are pleased to share the benefits of our knowledge with you.
    Essential to each investment opportunity is that you become a direct owner of legally-defined and documented assets. YOU ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY RISKS. [My caps]
    This concept is different from holding more intangible stocks, shares or bond market instruments. However, each market we work in also has the depth needed to create demand for exit security.”

    How could I lose?? Must give them a ring.

  2. I can see all IFA quoting they phrase you cant use “present standards of practice to a past situation” when responding to all ombudsman complaints in the future.

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