Established in 2010 and part of the Group First group; Store First was an investment venture which offered a “guaranteed” income initially of 8% which was generated from the rental of storage pods.
Not only have some investors not seen these promised returns, they also received letters saying they were liable to pay business rates on the investment.
Many of the clients who invested in Store First were initially cold called by an unregulated marketing firm, commonly referred to as an Introducer. They would usually offer a free pension review which would show the benefits of moving the pension from the current scheme into a more “lucrative” one. Not only do these Introducers not have the regulated authority to give this advice – they are also quite often paid commission from the investment/product they are recommending.
This meant that people who were not suitable for a high-risk investment such as this, ended up invested in them anyway.
On top of that, these types of investment are unregulated, meaning no protection or watchful eye from the FCA.
This was also the case with Store First and Introducer company Jackson Francis, who were also connected to Store First. They reportedly received £33m in commission from Store First for referring clients. Jackson Francis were wound up in 2014.
In April 2019 a high court petition to wind up Store First saw various store pod centres close. These included; Store First Ltd, Store First Blackburn, Store First St Helens and SFM Services Ltd.
However, according to the Insolvency Service – Pay Store Ltd – who manage the centres, were allowed to continue providing services to enable people to store and remove items whilst a longer-term solution was found. In January 2020 official receivers agreed a sale of some assets.
If you transferred into a SIPP which has an investment for Store First and would like to know if you may have been mis-sold – call 0114 266 4216 for a chat with one of our team. We offer a free no obligation assessment to see if we think you have a case, if you do, we’ll tell you more about the claims process. Or fill in the enquiry form and arrange a time for us to call you.
You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.
It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.
We will not make or pursue a claim, or advise you to, if we know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that the claim does not have a good arguable basis, and or is fraudulent or frivolous.