Capita Oak is one of the biggest names in the rising wave of reveal of financial scams revolving around self-invested personal pensions (Sipps). Here’s what you need to know about the Sipp provider.
Capita Oak was shut down a few years ago. The shutdown came after it emerged that not only had they mis-sold and mishandled pension products, but also been part of a mass scam.
Scams involving Capita Oak
The sequence of events for many investors was a similar one to that experienced by hundreds of thousands of Sipp scam victims across the country.
A gifted ‘adviser’ cold called or turned up on their doorstep and sold them the dream of financial freedom. Polished, extensive investment materials, guaranteed 8% returns over a decade and the promise of setting up their families for generations.
In order to do this, all the individual had to do was transfer their existing pension into the Capita Oak Pension Scheme Sipp. This was then invested in any number of unregulated, high risk products (despite being presented to the contrary).
Clients would also be offered early access to pension funds and a five percent non-repayable ‘loan’. For example, one such investment was the Store First storage pods, which would be rented out. This would then supposedly provide high returns to the client, figures as high as 108 percent returns over six years were promised. It wasn’t until annual payments didn’t turn up that many investors suspected anything was amiss.
High profile Sipp cases
Capita Oak was involved in one of the highest-profile cases regarding Sipp pensions, involving a judgment on a ‘Mr X’ by The Pensions Ombudsman.
Mr X had transferred his pension into the Capita Oak Sipp. The transfer value was a staggering £368,000. Mr X was promised up to 12 percent returns from a Store First investment. He received a £17,500 non-repayable loan and was subject to an initial 5% charge of more than £18,000.
In 2013, after becoming concerned regarding the status of his pension, Mr X requested to transfer his money out of the scheme. This was his legal right. However, the firm ignored the request, which is illegal. The Pension Ombudsman then stepped in to act against them.
The Pensions Ombudsman’s investigation revealed that along with other pension schemes such as Henley Retirement and the Westminster Pension Scheme, that Capita Oak were part of a huge scam operation. These schemes were forcibly shut down in the same year.
In 2017, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opened an investigation into the scam network. They also urged those who had used the providers to get in contact. They was in order to gather information regarding the estimated £120m scam.
If you were caught up in a Capita Oak scam, get in touch. Our legal experts can offer support in reclaiming what was lost.