If you were persuaded into transferring your pension pot or your savings into an investment scheme involving storage pods, we at Beat the Banks would like to hear from you. Many people lost large sums of money in such schemes, and now face years of uncertainty. Money that they’d worked hard for all their lives has disappeared, so call 0800 193 1234 as soon as possible.
Imagine being offered a free pension review by a cold caller who sounded like he or she had all the answers. Such a tactic is now against the law in the UK, but at one time it was a popular strategy for some advisors, a significant proportion of whom were unregulated and unqualified to give such advice. The so-called free review, in truth, was often just a ruse that was used to persuade people to invest.
The premise was a simple one, and when it was explained by those with the gift of patter it sounded like a financially sensible one as well. Investors would buy storage pods housed in storage facilities, and the income that derived from renting these out would go straight to the investor, minus certain bills and the inevitable management charges.
In the end, many of these pods stayed empty for long periods of time, producing no income for the investor who of course still had to pay management charges. The double-edged sword of not getting any returns and having to still fork out for the bills must have seemed even more infuriating. Selling the pod on to someone else was unlikely because of course by that stage nobody else would have wanted it.
With no chance of selling, the best the investor could hope for was finding a person or company to lease the pod on a long-term basis. Unfortunately, a large number of storage pods continue to be unused, and as each month goes by the charges accumulate and the loss increases. It must be so frustrating for people who entered into what seemed to be such a promising arrangement.
A lesson learned, but it’s all too little too late for some
While this has all proved to be a salutary lesson for the investors, it’s one that they really shouldn’t have had to encounter. Storage schemes such as the one managed by Store First were unregulated and exceptionally high risk, so ordinary investors who have very little understanding of such matters should not have been targeted in the first place.
Companies that were involved in this area, and those they employed as introducers, should have aimed their sales pitches at high net worth investors who would have known all about the risks involved. A significant proportion of investors who were persuaded to invest may not have even been told about the high risks that came with buying into a scheme like this.
Those investors who fell for the charms of the introducers and their sophisticated sales techniques are now left with almost nothing. These men and women had worked hard all their lives and finally saw a way of adding to their pension pots so they could enjoy a happy and comfortable retirement. It’s heart-breaking to see so many innocent dreams being shattered in such a dramatic way.
Store First are part of Group First Global Ltd, a company that was responsible for Park First, another investment scheme that offered car parking spaces at both Gatwick and Glasgow airports. High returns were promised to investors, but ultimately results were extremely disappointing. The company no longer offers the scheme in its original form.
Unregulated investment schemes are by their very nature extremely high risk. And while cold-calling may not be permissible in the UK now there are still plenty of ways for salespeople to make contact with you. Our advice is to leave well alone unless you have a high net worth and you know how investment vehicles like these can bring both major losses and hefty gains.
If you were a victim of the Store First scheme or any other storage scheme, why not give Beat the Banks a call to see if anything can be done? You deserve justice, so call 0800 193 1234 and have a chat with our team. We hope you get in touch very soon.