Now officially dissolved as of the 12th Sept 2017, First Review Pension Services Limited operated from it’s Derbyshire offices, and appears to have generated huge numbers of phone calls, appointments and other marketing efforts in order to organise pension reviews, together with another firm, Lifestyle Connections.
While a pension review should include as many suitable options as needed in an unbiased manner, BBC’s Panorama program on July 11 2016 unravelled how First Review Pension Services was set up to be the “sales and marketing arm” of The Resort Group – a non-FCA regulated and high-risk hotel investment in Cape Verde.
Using undercover filming techniques, the Panorama program showed how one consultant within the group said that “all of the options I deal with involve The Resort Group”…
Based in the Cape Verde islands in otherwise stunning areas such as Dunas Beach, The Resort Group investment is NOT regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and therefore should only be recommended to people who can both understand and afford the risks involved in non-standard investments, including the lack of compensation for problems with the investment itself.
Anything else, and they might have been mis-sold their pension investment, and could make a claim.Get started now
First Review Pension Services, like many unregulated introducers to new pension schemes and investments, called people up ‘out-of-the-blue’ to offer a FREE pension review.
The practice of cold-calling about pensions has now been banned as of January 2019 after a lengthy campaign by advisers and other industry professionals.
The role of unregulated introducers in pension mis-selling is not to be understated.
While the offer of a free pension review sounds great, the options put on the table are almost always recommended and often involve investments that will pay the marketing company the biggest commissions, regardless of whether they are right for the individual.
This practice often meant that people ended up investing in high-risk pension schemes (just like The Resort Group) despite suitability issues for many investors.
If you transferred your pension to a SIPP after a cold-call, you may be able to make a claim for a mis-sold SIPP pension.
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Complaints against First Review Pension Services were never going to get far. Not regulated by the FCA, they don’t have to abide by FCA rules about advising on investments.
That, and they no-longer exist!
What they did do is often refer potential investors to a regulated financial adviser, whose duty it was to ensure that the investment’s high-risk nature lined up with the client’s risk profile.
Many advisers failed in their duty, recommending investments in the Resort Group that were not suitable.
Find out if you can make a claim today.Speak with an expert
The Resort Group was setup officially in 2007, registering in Gibraltar and later being floated on the Mauritius stock exchange.
First Review Pension Services was created several years later in June 2012. One Director at the firm was also a Director of The Resort Group UK Limited between March 2012 and July 2014.
First Review Pension Services is more than mentioned in the BBC Panorama documentary that focused in on how The Resort Group was being sold. Identified as The Resort Group’s “sales and marketing arm”, and undercover footage from inside the group of companies is broadcast all over the UK.
September 2017 brought the news that First Review Pension Services was dissolved. The Resort Group commented in response to the BBC Panorama program that the decision to close FRPS was made before the documentary was broadcast.
No, First Review Pension Services was not regulated to give financial advice.
It simply cold-called potential investors to introduce them to the idea of reviewing their pensions. It served as a marketing firm to funnel business towards the Resort Group.
In many cases, a regulated financial adviser like CIB Life & Pensions actually gave advice, and may be able to be held accountable if the advice was negligent.
Again, no. Based in Gibraltar, floated originally on the Mauritius Stock Exchange, and with physical assets in Cape Verde, the FCA does not regulated The Resort Group.
However, the FCA did send many Resort Group investors a questionnaire back in 2017.
As New Model adviser understands, the questionnaire was sent by the FCA’s ‘Unauthorised Business Division‘ to see whether any regulated activity was conducted by unauthorised parties.