Insolvency Service takes action to protect pension funds
Companies which were the trustees of two separate occupational schemes that had received a combined £19.4m from members of the public, who had transferred their pension pots on the promise of greater returns, have been placed into provisional liquidation by the High Court.
The orders placing the companies into provisional liquidation follow hearings in the High Court on 3 and 5 June of applications issued by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Following investigations by Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service:
Omni Trustees Ltd, a company with its current Registered Office in the West Midlands, but which previously operated from an address in Lichfield, was placed into provisional liquidation on 3 June 2015. The company was the trustee of an occupational pension fund known as the Henley Retirement Benefit Scheme, which received £8.6m from members of the public, and of which £3.6m was invested in self-storage units and £3.7m was held in cash before being transferred to another occupational scheme in July 2014
Imperial Trustee Services Ltd, which is based in Kent, was placed into provisional liquidation on 5 June 2015. It was trustee of an occupational pension fund that had received £10.8m and which was known as the Capita Oak Pension Scheme but the company suffered from governance issues, with several directors coming and going in quick succession and also from an inability to transfer member benefits in accordance with their wishes, leading to a number of adverse determinations by The Pensions Ombudsman, who commented that the Capita Oak scheme was connected to a “pension liberation scam”.
The role of the provisional liquidator is to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition. The provisional liquidator also has the power to investigate the affairs of the companies insofar as it is necessary to protect assets including any third party or trust money or assets in the possession of or under the control of the company.
Both cases are now subject to High Court action and no further information will be made available until the petitions to wind up the companies are heard in the High Court in Manchester on 22 July 2015.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
Imperial Trustee Services Ltd – company registration number 08133190 – was incorporated on 06 July 2012. The company’s registered office is at c/o Downs & Company, 21-25 North Street, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1SD.
Omni Trustees Ltd – company registration number 08175702 – was incorporated on 10 August 2012. The company’s registered office is at c/o Irwin & Company, Station House, Midland Drive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1TU.
The petitions to wind-up Imperial Trustee Services Ltd and Omni Trustees Ltd were presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 27 May 2015. The Official Receiver was appointed as Provisional Liquidator of Omni Trustees Ltd on 3 June 2015 and of Imperial Trustee Services Ltd on 5 June 2015.
Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Further information about live company investigations is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
Published: 10 June 2015
From: The Insolvency Service