Incartus Investment Pension Scheme has been placed in the hands of Dalriada Trustees by the Pensions Regulator.We’ve seen some horrendous pension and investment scams, but until Dalriada completes the investigation into this scheme, we won’t know how bad this one is.
When I first published my blog on Incartus, the scheme’s solicitors, CANTER LEVIN & BERK, wrote to me and asked me to publish a retraction. But I have never received any reply to my questions below.
We’ve seen some horrendous pension and investment scams these past few years. Billions of pounds’ worth of hard-earned pensions and savings lost to greedy, dishonest, malicious fraudsters who see their victims and their pensions/investments as “easy” targets.
While we believe it is in the public interest to publish the scams and the scammers – both past and present – to warn, educate and inform existing and potential victims – we do want to avoid unfairly labelling an individual, firm or scheme as a scam just because it exhibits some or all of the classic tell-tale signs of being a scam.
Incartus Investments and Bluefin Trustees, along with their solicitors Canter Levin & Berg, have asked that we remove a post from our website which featured Incartus and stated:
“Incartus Investments Pension Scheme 2 is administered by AFM Administrators in Whitstable, Kent. The Scheme promise to provide long-term growth with a forecasted average yield of 8% per annum and is registered with HMRC as an “occupational” scheme. The Trustees of the scheme are Bluefin Trustees whose address is the same as AFM Administrators – the sponsoring employer.”
Bluefin Trustees have also written to us and claimed we (Pension Life) know nothing about the scheme or its investments, and stated they have nothing to hide and that they welcome any questions about their scheme. We have therefore asked the following questions and will publish the responses as soon as they are available. Please note, we have also asked for a schedule of the investments and the commissions/charges. We have also asked for evidence of FCA regulation.
RESPONSE TO CANTER LEVIN & BERK SOLICITORS AND BLUEFIN TRUSTEES:
I will address the points raised both in your letter of 14.9.2016 and also in the letter from James Collard of Bluefin Trustees of the same date. I have numbered each point for ease of reference.
Firstly, it may be helpful to outline what the principal characteristics of a pension scam are and how the long list of the ones we are dealing with all exhibit some or all of these characteristics. These schemes include Ark, Capita Oak, Westminster, Regent, Henley and many more.
TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PENSION SCAMS:
- Scheme registered as an occupational scheme although the sponsoring employer does not employ any of the members and does not trade or employ anybody (or in the case of some schemes doesn’t even exist at all)
- Illiquid, speculative, high-risk, unregulated assets – often UCIS – which are neither suitable for retail investors nor for a pension scheme
- Substantial commissions paid by the investments (e.g. Store First paid out 46% in commission to the scammers)
- No SIP
- No segregated accounts
- Promoted by cold calling
- Victims told the scheme is “HMRC approved”
- Exorbitant fees
- Promise of 8% “guaranteed” growth/returns
- Availability of loans
Obviously, I would not wish for a genuine, compliant, regulated, bona fide occupational pension scheme to be wrongly seen to have any of the hallmarks of a scam and will happily work with you to address this and compose an appropriate apology/retraction which is agreeable to all parties.
LETTER FROM CANTER LEVIN & BERG
- My assistant Nikki immediately removed the post in question from our website as requested. It will not be re-posted until I have exhausted my enquiries into Incartus.
- Kindly confirm your objection to the statement that Incartus Investments Pension Scheme 2 is administered by AFM Administrators in Whitstable, Kent.
- Kindly confirm your objection to the statement that the scheme promises long-term growth of 8% and is HMRC registered as an occupational scheme.
LETTER FROM BLUEFIN TRUSTEES
In order to address the issues raised in this letter, and demonstrate that we have made every effort to carry out detailed research into the scheme, please provide the following:
- The latest audited accounts of the scheme
- A copy of the HMRC audit
- Explanation of why Incartus is offering both pensions and personal loans
- Proof that all the Incartus members are genuinely employed by the sponsoring employer
- Explanation as to why AFM Administrators and Bluefin have the same address as each other and as a very large number of other companies at what appears to be a bungalow in a residential street
- Evidence that Incartus Investments are regulated by the FCA for investments and not just consumer credit