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Refund victory for steelworker invested in property scheme

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Refund victory for steelworker invested in property scheme

A steelworker who was convinced by collapsed IFA Active Wealth (UK) to invest his life savings into an unregulated German property scheme has received a full refund. 

New Model Adviser® previously reported that steelworker Mike Pickett had been advised to invest £35,000 of his personal savings into Dolphin Trust GmbH, which specialises in the development of German-listed buildings.

This was in addition to transferring his pension out of the British Steel Pension Scheme and into a Sipp which found its way into Gallium Fund Solutions through Active Wealth.

The housing bonds are aimed at sophisticated investors, and Dolphin Trust subsequently contacted Pickett to offer him the chance to withdraw his investment in full with interest. 

Pickett said: 'I got a call from James, one of the directors, who was very apologetic, and said that the bonds shouldn't have been sold to me. He was really good about it. It's fantastic to get it sorted. It would be a very good gesture if other firms who have received funds from steelworkers followed Dolphin's example.'

Al Rush, principal of Rutland-based Echelon Wealthcare, has been working with Pickett to try to recoup the funds. 

He said: 'Well done to James and Dolphin for treating Mike fairly, and acting so quietly and quickly with honour and decency. It’s fair to say Dolphin won’t probably ever be high on my list of solutions, but my experience of working with them is as high as any regulated company.'

A number of former Active Wealth clients who were advised to transfer out of the pension scheme are now taking legal action

Active Wealth was the first of 10 to voluntarily surrender its pension transfer permissions as a result of advice given to British Steel workers, and subsequently entered liquidation in February. The firm was declared in default this week by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).  

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