A man whose pension savings went into non-regulated fund, says he was offered £6,000 by his financial advisor not to raise problems with the authorities.
Stephen Sefton, Milton Keynes, found that his adviser is not authorised to deal with pension transfers.
He has been asked not to communicate with journalists, regulators, and the national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud, in return for the money.
The financial advisor, declared the payment of a “gesture of goodwill”.
The advisor also maintains the firm had all the necessary permissions.
Mr. Sefton has decided to transfer the £415 000 in his company pension scheme into a new pension in 2015.
He has been taking advantage of new pension rules allowing them to access their money as and when he liked, while leaving some of his children. Overseas pension scheme
The financial advisor, it is in line recommended the money should go into an overseas pension scheme.
Mr. Sefton agreed, but a year later, he became concerned.
Most of his money had been invested through the overseas retirement plan in a fund called Blackmore Global. The rest had disappeared into an investment fund to Malta.
He has struggled to get a correct evaluation of what his or her participation in the Maltese fund was worth, said the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“They told me the advisor was not regulated to give investment advice,” Mr Sefton said.
He was surprised, because the company’s FCA registration number is displayed at the bottom of the letters which she had sent him and the corporation, the Square Mile Financial International based in Prague (and which should not be confused with a company with a similar name), is listed on the FCA register.
But the FCA has confirmed to the BBC that the company has not been authorized to deal with the insurance mediation. It has not obtained the necessary permission to deal with pension transfers.
Mr. Sefton found the funds to Malta has been a professional investor fund only and was not suitable for a retail investor like him.
It was also found that another company involved in the administrative side to transfer its rights to the pension has been run by the same men who control Blackmore Global fund, non-regulated, where most of his money end. ‘No strings attachée’the
After months the prosecution of his case, Mr. Sefton got most of his money.
Then an e-mail from Square-Mile International Financial offered him £ 6,000 if it has signed a confidential settlement agreement.
It required him not to make further communications with anyone regarding this matter and that has brought together journalists, blogs, financial advisors, regulatory authorities and the Action of the Fraud.
He was not impressed.
“I thought I had a right to restitution without conditions, without any condition, not to sign anything that says you will shut up and not talk to anyone,” he says. “So, no, I did not sign it. I told them in no uncertain terms what they could do with it.” The Action Of Fraud
David Vilka, who has acted as Mr. Sefton’s financial adviser, and is a Thousand Square International Financial, administration, denies the money to keep it quiet and said that it was a “goodwill gesture” to close the issue “amicably”, according to Mr. Sefton had done what Mr Vilka described as “defamatory” remarks.
M. Vilka says a Thousand Square International Financial, permissions and activities “has been inspected and checked in all by many regulatory bodies” and argues that his company is authorized and has done nothing wrong.
Mr. Sefton has expressed its concerns to Action Fraud, but he has written to tell him that he had not identified the tracks to follow.
He said he had lost about £30,000 as its stake in the Maltese fund had fallen in value by the time his money was taken.
Its investment in the Blackmore Global fund was returned to him, and exit fees have been cancelled.
Other people who had doubts about their Blackmore Global investment find it difficult to recover their money.
“Paul” (not his real name) agreed to have his £ 100,000 of pension savings moved in the Blackmore Global fund after, he said, he was cold called by another company called Aspinal Chase and was offered a free pension review.
He didn’t know that Aspinal of Chase to the administration of control of Blackmore in the World.
Phillip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh are listed as Blackmore Global administration in a fund document seen by Radio 4’s You And Yours programme, which shows each to earn wages of £20,000 per year.
The investments are held for up to 10 years – a fact that escaped Paul, even if it has been mentioned in some of his documents.
That’s going to take him way beyond his 60th birthday, the age at which he said that he wanted to retire. To date, attempts to gain access to his money have proved unsuccessful.
Even after the 10 years of the investment period is in place, get the money may not be simple because it depends on the funds to be able to find buyers for its underlying assets.
“I have three grandchildren. I would like to take them all to Disneyworld in America,” said Paul. “I want to spend the money that I have earned over the years. A little of that money goes to pay the last bit of my mortgage, which is a big piece of my future. I feel like I’ve let the family down.”Redemption denied
Paul, the financial advisor has been listed as David Vilka, Square Mile International finance, the same man, Mr. Sefton used, and who has also acted for Jacqueline, in Oxfordshire.
Jacqueline, who did not want to be identified, said she was also persuaded to move his pension savings for the first time cold-called by Aspinal Chase.
Blackmore Global administration have since refused to release the £ 50 000, it has invested.
Phillip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh said that they do not permit redemptions in exceptional circumstances, in order to “protect the integrity of the investment to its other stakeholders.”
They said that they had no financial relationship with David Vilka or the Square Mile Financial and International that they were completely independent of them.
They said that their other company – Aspinal Chase – never engaged in the cold of the appellant, has not given the pensions guidance and that all notices have been given by regulated financial advisers.