MAP Global Property Investment
Map Global Property Investments Limited (Map GPI) were accredited master agents for the sale of storage pods through Store First. Set up in 2006 by Donald Paterson and his wife Marion, the company was based in Dukes Road, Troon, before being dissolved in January 2019.
They offered a fully managed investment service, advertising guaranteed returns of 8% for two years with a relatively accessible minimum investment of £3,750. What they didn’t promote was the commission the company earned through selling investments – up to 40%, which was then filtered down to a whole host of introducers throughout Scotland, including the ER Network and their sister company Vita Investment Planning.
An extensive UCIS portfolio
The portfolio of Map GPI’s Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS) didn’t end with Store First. They extensively sold investments into Park First, the disastrous parking space investment scheme. Investors could also choose from Apartels, Florida Property and the now failed Harlequin Hotels and Resorts – another scheme that offered sky high commissions paid at the front end and based on the anticipated total investment. For example, an initial down payment of £50k on a planned investment of £200k, earned Map GPI a whopping £35,000 purely is commission.
Interconnected companies to MAP GPI were also heavily involved in the Carrick Harbours Retirement Benefits Scheme. This saw commission hungry agents in Glasgow, and Doug Davidson and Bill Osborne in Fife, entice pension holders to invest in buy-to-let hotel rooms in Edinburgh and Kingennie to the north of Dundee. The scheme ended in pension holders losing millions of pounds as detailed in the reports from Dalriada Trustees.
Disturbance techniques to prompt transfers
Investing in UCIS like the ones above can be made via savings, but in many cases it involves people’s pension funds. Disturbance techniques are used by highly incentivised agents who are typically neither pensions qualified or authorised. Pension holders are wrongly led to believe their existing private or defined benefit pension schemes are inferior or simply not performing well enough.
Customers are then persuaded to move their funds into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and then invest in illiquid, high-risk schemes – both of which generate handsome commissions for the agents and other parties involved in the transfer.
Moving defined benefit pensions (DB schemes) has always required a Level 6 qualification in financial advice, due to the potential high risks of such transfers. Therefore, companies pushing UCIS require the help of a willing and suitably qualified IFA to undertake transfers. In the case of Map GPI, they worked with Douglas Baillie in Perth and appointed representatives, The Pension Specialist, who are now in Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) default following a substantial number of claims for poor and faulty pension advice.
If the situation described above sounds familiar then you may be entitled to compensation. Our team at Beat the Banks have extensive experience in successfully handling claims for mis-sold pensions and poor pension advice. We promise a sympathetic ear and plenty of honest, reliable guidance – call us on 0800 193 1234 for a free, no-obligation chat with one of our advisors today.