An insurance broker has been banned from company directorships after failing to keep adequate records, not providing information to the tax authorities and not providing members of a pension scheme with up to date information, such as personal statements.
Ivor Jenkins, the sole appointed director of Optimum Financial Solutions Limited, traded as an insurance agent and administered a pension scheme known as the Optimum Retirement Benefits Plan (the Plan).
The Plan is the subject of a fraud investigation by the police and an investigation by the Pensions Regulator. A report by the Pensions Regulator states that, from 2015, a total of £13.4 million was transferred in to the Plan from the pension schemes of 288 people. In some cases members were cold-called to persuade them to transfer. Introducers were paid tens of thousands of pounds in fees and Mr Jenkins was also given financial incentives.
After making a transfer, members received loans of as much as 75% of their funds from companies linked to a trustee of the Plan. This behaviour has the hallmarks of “pension liberation” fraud. The remaining funds not paid out as loans to members were then invested in high-risk, illiquid investments including gem-mining and olive oil processing.
This ban follows an Insolvency Service investigation in 2016 which resulted in Optimum Financial Solutions being wound up in court in February 2018.