Caledonian International Associates and David Clark are known to have been actively involved in Armed Forces pension transfers.
Caledonian International was the trading name of MMG Associates who were registered in the British Virgin Islands and is also sometimes referred to as Caledonian and CI Associates.
In his business model David Clark describes himself as the “preferred adviser for the Armed Forces occupational pension scheme for individuals who had left the armed forces”
David Clark and Caledonian were not authorised to give pension advice.
Between 2012-2013 David Clark was responsible for introducing over 500 clients to SIPP provider Carey pensions UK (now known as Options Pensions)
These clients transferred out of their Armed Forces Pensions scheme and into a SIPP with Carey’s.
This enabled some of them to invest in Friends Provident International Reserve Bond. Funds within this bond have since been suspended.
Caledonian also had relationships with Creechurch Capital, an investment provider and Harbour Pensions – a pension provider based in Malta which was purchased by the STM Group.
Transferring out of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme would only have been a suitable for some members in exceptional circumstances.
Most regulated financial advisers would not have made a recommendation to transfer out of a DB pension scheme, like the AFPS, unless it was in their client’s best interests.
This is because pension schemes like the AFPS are considered valuable because of the benefits that come with them – such as a guaranteed income.
They also don’t have the same costs that private arrangements such as SIPPSs have. So, advice to transfer would not be a better move in retirement for most scheme members.
Also, the investments involved can be much riskier than is suitable for the level of risk the client can afford or is willing take.
Unfortunately, unregulated pension introducers receive commissions for recommending unsuitable investments to people regardless of the consequences.
You may be able to make a claim if a regulated firm or individual was involved in your pension transfer; and there’s evidence that they gave unsuitable advice or acted in a way that breached the FCA regulations.
Successful claims have been made against Financial Advisers who gave unsuitable advice to AFPS members.
Claims are also currently being made against Options Pensions (Carey’s) regarding their due diligence practices in respect of accepting business from unregulated introducers.
This includes business they accepted from Dave Clark and Caledonia.
We are currently representing many Ex-Forces Personnel who have been affected by pension mis-selling
If you want some free initial advice call and have a chat with one of our team. We can tell you if we think you may have a case and advise you of your options if you want to make a claim.
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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 Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.