A pension company acting as a sponsoring employer for 15 retirement schemes has been closed down after it was found to have mishandled people’s savings.
Fast Pensions was wound up in the High Court alongside five other firms associated with it.
According to findings from the Insolvency Service, between 2012 and 2013, 520 people were encouraged to transfer their pension savings from existing providers into one of 15 schemes, with Fast Pensions acting as the sponsoring employer.
A series of investigations found that a total of at least £21m was invested into the schemes following a number of unethical approaches such as cold calls.
Due to the companies’ failure to keep adequate accounting records and refusal to cooperate with the investigation, the exact value has not been determined.
David Hope, chief investigator, said: “People work long and hard to put money away for their retirements but the companies that have been shut down paid scant regard to their members. They used unsavoury tactics to attract members and failed to paint the full picture as to what would really happen with their savings.
It’s hoped that by shutting these companies down, a message will be passed to similar fraudsters guilty of financial mis-selling.
David Hope adds: “We will robustly investigate and take action where people’s funds and savings are at risk.”
The companies involved had been put into provisional liquidation in March following complaints made to the Insolvency Service.
The investigations that followed found that people who were originally looking for credit were encouraged to transfer their pension savings into one of Fast Pensions’ schemes, along with the promise of access to a loan after their money had been moved.
Investigators deemed the advice provided “inadequate” and said that the companies had “misrepresented” the schemes on offer.