Based in Brooklands Court, Leeds. Capital & Income Solutions (C&lS) described themselves as “Experts in Pension Release.” For a business employing less than a handful of people they have been remarkably successful, but with their annual accounts substantially overdue and calls to the firm going unanswered, it wasn’t perhaps a total shock when they finally entered liquidation on 9th January 2020, with Alex Kachani of Crawfords Accountants in Salford being appointed.
So what went wrong?
Arguably, it seems the classic case of a firm of financial advisors putting their own self-interests above those of their unfortunate clients.
With three Financial Ombudsman (FOS) decisions already in place against (C&I S) for faulty pension and investment advice and the use of SIPPs it was perhaps no surprise that on the 25th June 2019 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) removed the firm’s pension transfer permissions. This was then followed up two days later with an Asset Restriction. Both can be viewed via this link to the FCA Register.
Since George Osborne instigated Pension Freedom in April 2015, it’s a shocking fact that Pension Specialists like C&I S have given the advice to transfer more than £100 billion from “gold plated” Defined Benefit workplace pensions (DB Schemes). Drilling down further into the FCA figures makes grim reading – more than 75% of the advice given to exit DB Schemes can be described as being in some way “faulty.”
It’s clear that C&I S may well have recommended hundreds of these type of pension holders to move elsewhere and in doing so, typically charging an extortionate 3% to 5% of the transfer value as an initial advice fee.
From our discussions with a number of disgruntled former customers of the firm, we have established that since early 2018, there would appear to have been a dramatic decline in the quality of advice given by C&I S. In some cases, active DB scheme members have been persuaded to opt-out and leave before age 55. Advice that potentially has huge negative effects, including loss of often substantial guaranteed benefits up to age 55, loss of death benefits and then finally, being faced with having to join their employers Money Purchase Scheme. A likely much inferior and more costly option.
Over time the firm has consistently recommended one provider for a period of time before swapping to another – Standard Life, Royal London and Prudential appearing to be the three most common. They weren’t averse to “churning” either and actively promoted transferring from one provider to another. A course of action that seldom if ever benefits the customer but can see more substantial fees charged.
Capital & Income Solutions and their director Philip Pryke are known to have dealt with a substantial number of pension holders in London and the South East of England. Incredibly, the firm also provided a significant volume of transfer advice in and around Dundee, Scotland. This was facilitated through a firm of local mortgage brokers and their director, neither of whom held the necessary FCA permissions to be involved in this highly specialist and highly regulated activity.
If you have taken pension or investment advice direct from Capital & Income Solutions based in Leeds or indirectly through a leading firm of mortgage brokers in Dundee, there is a significant chance that you may have been a victim of “faulty” advice that’s left you out of pocket and often without knowing it.
If your concerned that you have been a victim, the expert team at Beat the Banks are here to help. To find out more you can call 01382 200474 or simply complete our contact form on this page and we will be in touch.