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Serious Fraud Office raids pension trustee

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Money Portal’s pension trustee subsidiary GP Noble after The Pensions Regulator’s decision to replace it as independent trustee of 29 schemes.

Earlier this month, TPR suspended and replaced GP Noble as independent trustee on the schemes after the Pension Protection Fund raised concerns with the regulator.

An SFO spokeswoman confirms that it is investigating GP Noble and has so far made three arrests but the men aged 40, 47 and 51 have since been released without charge.

The SFO says search warrants were executed last week with the assistance of Nottinghamshire and City of London police on three residential and two business addresses in Nottingham, Suffolk and Surrey.

Money Portal suspended GP Noble executive directors Gary Cordell and Graham John Pitcher several weeks ago following its own investigation.

A statement by the Money Portal board says: “Prior to the SFO investigation, we conducted our own investigation of the conduct of the two executive directors of GP Noble and suspended them from their duties several weeks ago. 

We shall do all we can to ensure that justice is done and will cooperate fully with this inquiry and with The Pension Regulator, whose actions we fully support.”

Money Portal says it cannot comment further while the investigation is under way.

A TPR statement says: “We can confirm The Pensions Regulator decided that it was appropriate to suspend GP Noble and replace it as independent trustee from a number of schemes. This was due to its actions in relation to certain schemes giving cause for concern. As these matters are subject to an ongoing investigation and details of the case are restricted information under the Pension Act 2004, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

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