The Secretariat for the APPG is provided by the Transparency Task Force (TTF), a Certified Social Enterprise. The Mission of the TTF is to promote ongoing reform of the financial sector, so that it serves society better; and its vision is to build a highly respected, international and influential institution that is dedicated to helping ensure consumers are treated fairly by the financial sector.

The APPG’s Secretariat is organised through a Secretariat Committee made up of TTF volunteers, as shown below – we are very grateful to them for their support.

Andy Agathangelou
Chair, Secretariat Committee for the APPG

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I have had hundreds of conversations with pension scam victims since I created the Transparency Task Force back in 2015; and many of those conversations have been very, very sad.

I am absolutely convinced that more can be done to not only provide better support to scam victims but also to help prevent scammers operating.

I am very grateful to all the other volunteers who are working with me to help the APPG operate succesfully; and I am also very grateful to the many Parliamentarians that have stepped up to the plate to help make a positive difference to people’s lives."

 

 

Lesley Carline
Director, KGC Associates

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I believe the different initiatives attempting to prevent scams, need to be brought together for the benefit of all. What is needed can’t be purely an industry solution, it will require input from many different facets and potentially changes to legislation.  We need people with industry knowledge and profile but more importantly drive and energy to make things happen.

Having been in the pensions industry for over 28 years, I have acquired extensive knowledge, expertise and an industry profile,  not only through my work as President of the Pensions Management Institute but also as a Director of KGC associates. I have demonstrated the ability to get things done from introducing new qualifications such as the Certificate in Auto-enrolment for the PMI, to working with the Financial Conduct Authority on the changing purpose of the financial industry; and leading the PMI through a period of evolution and change, particularly in the Covid era. With my day job, I work closely with both pension scheme providers and pension scheme trustees, thereby gaining access to insight into providers’ strategies and trends in trustees requirements. 

With a marketing qualification alongside my pension expertise I feel I can bring something different to the Group.”

Peter Glancy
Head of Policy, Pensions and Investments, Lloyds Banking Group

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because its heart breaking to have worked with people over decades to help them build up a pot of money intended to give them some quality of life in retirement, only to see it snatched away from them.”

Jan Floyd-Douglass
Director, The 9 Situations

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I believe that victims are not being heard or treated fairly. I know from my career in the financial services sector, that pension scams and the horrendous loss and damage done by them, have needed the spotlight turned hard upon them for many years.

I’m hopeful that this new APPG Pension Scams will be the vehicle that redresses the balance for those people who have suffered - or are suffering - from this devastating financial piracy."

Sue Flood

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I have become a key figure in helping to prevent people falling victim to pension fraudsters, having become a victim myself. I lost my entire pension fund; along with over 500 other victims of the Ark Pension Scandal. I then went on to help set up a campaign group. I am also involved in supporting numerous other pension scam victims and pension scam support groups.

I believe I have unique insight and experience in the pensions scam prevention and support space and my relentless campaigning has led to interaction with the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Financial Conduct Authority”

Kim Schweitzer
Founder, Time 4 Change London Ltd

I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I believe we all have a moral duty to fight against this major public concern. We have an obligation to take care of people who do not understand, are vulnerable, and/or simply fail to believe how proficient and cunning these scammers are.  Too many dreams, relationships, and even lives have been lost because a system has been inadvertently created to allow pension scammers to win!  

This should be unacceptable in a nation that prides itself on taking care of its citizens, uniting against evil, and fighting against harmful dangers.  We need to work together to protect the financial well-being of our citizens’ hard-earned pensions -- to do our part to encourage better awareness of these harmers of society, close the loopholes and policies allowing them to operate, and provide systems and policies that protect the public from these pension scammers. 

The members of the APPG on Pension Scams are committed to making change for the better!  I’m hopeful this forum can and will be able to fix what needs to be fixed to better protect the public. 

Mark Bishop
Founder, Connaught action group

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because my experience as a victim of a scam affecting mostly pension savings (The Connaught Income Fund Series 1) has led to me spending eight and a half years and counting trying to resolve that fraud and persuade the regulator to adopt measures to prevent others from being perpetrated. It seems to me that the FCA in particular is unlikely willingly to take the necessary steps, which is why I now favour a process of working with supportive parliamentarians to help them understand the nature and extent of the problem and develop solutions, where necessary through legislative change. A former journalist and the holder of an MBA from a triple-accredited business school, I believe that I bring a mix of communication and analytical skills that could be useful to the group."

Tina Kenyon
Head of Special Projects, Transparency Task Force

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because since working for the TTF, since June 2018, I have learned a great deal about pensions and pension scams. It seems obvious to me that pension scam victims are not being sufficiently listened to by the authorities and that the approach being taken by them is too fragmented to be effective. It is also perfectly clear that pension scam victim should be given more and better support by the pensions industry; and that if the pensions sector is ever to win back the public’s trust and confidence it needs to raise its game around this whole topic.

If somebody is unfortunate enough to become a victim their life can be ruined. I, like all the other volunteers am convinced that there is more that could, should and must be done"

Mark Ormston
Director, Retirement Line

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams for two main reasons. Firstly,  I would like to improve consumer confidence and trust within the pensions industry. I believe there may be some misconceptions regarding pension scammers.  They are often sophisticated, well organised and incredibly convincing. It is up to everyone involved to join forces, learn lessons from the past but also look to the future. Collectively, we should aim to be one step ahead of pension scammers. We must ensure we have the relevant and resistant processes and procedures in place to better-protect the pension savers of today and tomorrow. It is time we were proactive, not reactive.

 Lastly, I wish to be part of a combined effort to ensure that pension scam victims receive the correct level of support required. It is surely against anyone’s moral code to leave these victims unsure of where to go, what to do and feeling alone. The emotional and mental impact can be just as great, if not greater, than the financial loss itself. I believe there is a huge opportunity for improvement in victim ‘after care’ and I hope we can do better in this particular area . ”

Kate Makuen
Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Startup2exitclub

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I wanted to protect vulnerable citizens and at the same time build confidence in our pension industry"

Rick Adkinson
Managing Director, Private Capital

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because having worked offshore for 25 years I have seen the steady decline of accessible help and qualified advice with often basic communication not being available to UK citizens who just happen to be working overseas, often on short term contracts but also permanently.

UK IFA’s in the main cannot help a none resident UK citizen even when they have a UK pension. At the same time an overseas based IFA is not allowed to give help or guidance to a none UK resident citizen on a UK pension.  UK life companies blankly refuse to even allow an overseas IFA information on pension contracts, though of course this is very easily circumvented.

This whole situation has played into the hands of the more unscrupulous ‘’IFA’’ very often not qualified in any jurisdiction but able to exploit this huge void. In addition to this self-created problem it is difficult for the average person to understand just who is and who isn’t qualified to give advice.

It is very clear to me there are UK IFA firms in collusion with overseas ‘’advisors’’ and are then able to transfer huge sums into inappropriate contracts with huge fees and commissions generated.

My firm was established in Hong Kong in 1998. We established a UK AR firm in 2018, we had hoped this would enable us to offer joined up advice and enable us to help clients with a more meaningful approach to quality advice, particularly on pensions because this is a significant area of abuse, though sadly not only pensions. The reality is we cannot, we are faced with much of the same in terms of not being able to offer the level of service we feel is warranted. UK compliance restricts what we are able to offer in terms of advice, both initial and ongoing.

In summary the lack of cohesion and possibly mistrust (more often than not justified) of overseas advisors has created a situation that has been easily exploited for personal gain and at the expense of average UK citizens living and working abroad. This is NOT something I see changing anytime soon."

Aftab Siddiqui
Director, InnoValue Consult

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because it is important that we the financial services sector fight the fraudsters and scammers from defrauding millions of people who have saved for their pensions which is  their only fund their livelihood in retirement”

Sunil Shastri
Director, Ocean Governance

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because, Pension Scams are a scourge on civilised society and they could potentially affect almost all of us"

Mark Taber
Professional Fixed Income Investor, Campaigner, Researcher & Writer, Fixed Income Investments

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because its objectives are aligned with my campaigning for action and changes to the legal and regulatory framework to address the current epidemic of scams and frauds targeting consumers pensions savings whether held in a formal pension or other forms such as ISAs. Through extensive research, investigations and engagement with key stakeholders I have developed in depth knowledge and evidence of the issues around the current financial promotions regime, its enforcement and online advertising which are the route cause of much of the problem."

Stephanie Coulibaly
TTF Volunteer: Research and Investigations Associate

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because as a recent graduate achieving a 2:1 in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth I feel my experience, skills, and passion to build a career supporting the policing and crime industry match what is desired to volunteer for the Secretariat Committee. I have learned through my degree about the issues around regulation on pension scams, the sophistication of those that are carried out, how underreported they are, and furthermore, the apparent stigma around victims of pension scams who decide not to report these crimes for fear of embarrassment. Changes need to be made and I feel privileged to be able to support the committee in helping make that reform." 

Peter O'Donnell
New South Law

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because after I was a victim of a major investment scam recommended by my bank manager, I made it my mission in life to understand how such scams work, how the perpetrators almost always get away with them and how to help others get compensation. That gave me an intimate “criminals” view of how to operate and maximise such fraud, avoid being caught and do it again. For the past 9 years I have helped over a thousand victims and uniquely know the ways of stopping such personal and financial damage to hundreds of thousands of people that need to be brought to the attention of politicians.”

Ian Beestin
Co-founder, Money Alive

I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because scams can devastate an individual's life and they undermine trust in an industry that is fundamental to society’s financial wellbeing. 

Criminal’s appetite for other people's hard earned money is without bounds and we need to work together as they constantly look for the weakest link in the chain.

As scammers become more and more sophisticated, increasing their use of technology to denude people of a lifetime of savings, there is greater need to bring this matter front and centre and work together to help people stay safe from these criminals.

The APPG represents a new and powerful organisation that will bring a greater focus to this egregious challenge and possessing the means to make a difference. 

Taking away a person’s financial security is a cruel and callous act and it is great to be involved with like minded people, organisations, and politicians to take the fight to the criminals.

Laura Lee
Health & Safety Advisor, Bureau Veritas

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I believe that elderly and vulnerable victims of pension scams are being let down by the current system – people who have worked hard all their lives can be swindled out of thousands of pounds which they never see again. This lack of redress can destroy people’s livelihoods, yet victims often feel unable to speak out about what has happened.

The APPG is taking a proactive approach to changing the system – not only implementing robust safeguards that prevent people from being scammed, but also providing vital emotional support for scam victims after their traumatic experiences.”

Gareth Roberts
Non Executive Director

"I've volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because..

I hope that with over 20 years experience as a Trustee for both personal and occupational pension schemes I can make a small contribution in protecting innocent pension scheme members from unscrupulous criminals who prey on the vulnerable."

Steve Conley
Founder, Academy of Life Planning

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I left the banks in 2012 due to a clash on values, my colleagues appeared to be placing profits before principles. I set up a trusted adviser business, only to discover that virtually all of my prospective clients had been mis-sold investments, on what seemed to me to be a surprisingly large scale. Literally, it was everyone. Since then I have been helping them recover assets. I published a book, “Your Money or Your Life: Unmask the highway robbers – enjoy wealth in every area of your life.” I am the founding director of two “unmasking the highway robber” businesses. One is Asset Recovery Network (UK) Limited, where the banks of developing countries have had their assets misappropriated and stashed in the UK. Asset recovery remains high on the global agenda and in addition to continued attention of the General Assembly of the United Nations, it was included in the Sustainable Development Goals under Goal 16.4 and in the commitments under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. The other is a not-for-profit, The Fraud Team Ltd, where we check investments to see if they are safe pre-investment and pursue recovery post-scam for UK investors. On the trusted adviser side, I have founded a movement for non-intermediating financial planners, and I’m the founding CEO of the Academy of Life Planning. Because what the ordinary public need are plans not products. I have been a multi-award-winning pensions professional since 1989, heading up pensions and investments for HSBC, RBS Group, Santander, and Royal London. I am an award-winning Ambassador of the Transparency Taskforce and founding lead of its Market Integrity Team. I am often under attack from scammers, I pursue them anyway. Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. I believe I have a lot I can bring to this group.”

Jean Knight

"I have volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for The APPG on Pension Scams because I will never forget the look in the eyes of a loved one after reading the letter that said he had lost his military pension to a scam and in all probability would not be recovered.

This is what spurs me on to help others who find it difficult to be open about what they have lost." 

Jon Spain
Treasurer, Law for Life

"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I believe it is really important to make sure that the politicians are fully aware that there is such a huge problem and what can be done to mitigate the evil outcomes for their constituents."

Mark Sands
Managing Director, Quantuma

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because as a liquidator I have dealt with companies where scams have taken place and have seen the aftermath of miss selling.  I want to ensure that directors of these companies are held to account

Iain Mitchell QC
Member, Tanfield Chambers

"I've volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension scams because my legal expertise and experience in banking cases will be useful to the Committee."

Sarah Stokes
Managing Director, Pension Claim Consulting
"I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I have seen over the past five years the devastating impact loss of retirement funds has on both consumers and their families. “As highlighted by the APPG, both preventative and supportive policies need implementing to protect the public from pension scams. “The villains of pension scams will always attempt to evolve as regulations tighten. As such, I believe it is vital to build a communication infrastructure which effectively keeps up with the times, upholding consumer confidence in the pensions industry, but also thwarting huge scandals, the likes of which we have seen over the past two decades. “Having spoken with hundreds of pension scam victims at length, I believe I can provide insights to the taskforce, which will help form pre-emptive measures to help guard against future pension scams. This can include the methods employed by wayward introducers and advisers, from targeting specific industries to the style of sale’s pitches. I am keen to gain insights from other members of the taskforce as I believe there is a great opportunity to build from collective experience/knowledge in this context.      “In helping to devise supportive policies, I will be able to share Pension Claim Consulting’s ethos when in dialogue with pension scam victims. Quite often, it is the initial conversations that are pivotal in rebuilding trust. An overwhelming number of victims feel shame at their plight, often refraining from seeking redress as a result. At Pension Claim Consulting we have always worked to remove this barrier, with careful consideration. “I believe the APPG can promote an approach which follows this key objective thereby enabling law and claims management firms to put victims at greater ease with clear communication and empathy. “I hope to be part of a team that brings about the reforms that are required to help victims of pension scams and consumers who should be able to plan for their retirement without fear or anxiety.” 
Rachel Vahey
Senior Technical Consultant, AJ Bell

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because I feel passionately that through industry and government working together we can reduce the number of pension and investment scams by bringing in effective legislation and practice, and educating consumers to be aware. I have spent the last 30 years helping customers make the best retirement decisions, and I want to do all I can to prevent them having their retirement dreams stolen from them.”

Richard Emery
Fraud Investigator, 4Keys International

Comment to follow

Bryn Walker
Pension Trustee, Indigo Trustees

“I’ve volunteered to be part of the Secretariat Committee for the APPG on Pension Scams because as a Corporate Pension Trustee and Administrator for Member Directed Pensions providers such as ourselves and our competitor firms are on the front line of the battle against frauds and scams. Millions of Pounds has been scammed from innocent people using SSAS and SIPP as the conduit, and sadly a number of providers in our marketplace have toxic so called 'investments' which are now called scams and frauds on their books. Whilst we have none I will say "thanks to the grace of God" as I can easily see how others have fallen for the fraudster's patter.  

My firm is approached daily by ever so plausible sounding outfits offering all sorts of 'guaranteed' returns with ever so nice brochures and web sites to back them up.  My clients send me a plethora of offers they have received 'guaranteeing' amazingly attractive returns that they want to know IF they can invest in. I am here to give the APPG up to the day information on the latest tricks the fraudsters are employing in the hope of saving any investor from the horror and destitution of losing their entire pension to a scam. 

I also hope that any early warning I can provide reduces the scams effect by alerting other Professional firms to it and helps catch the perpetrators by making the UK Govt and Regulators aware of it."

Lauren Wilkinson
Senior Policy Researcher, Pensions Policy Institute

"Lauren is a Senior Policy Researcher at the Pensions Policy Institute, having joined as a Policy Researcher in September 2016. During her time at the PPI, Lauren has produced research on a range of topics, including ESG, pension freedoms, Defined Benefit and Collective Defined Contribution. Alongside producing and presenting research, Lauren also delivers training as part of PPI’s Knowledge Sharing Seminars, providing an introduction to the pensions landscape for new members of the industry. Prior to joining the PPI, Lauren studied Politics and Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, followed by a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy at the University of York."

Mark Hambling
Co Founder, GPG Creditors Committee
"I have volunteered to be part of the Secretariat because I believe there are some serious failings in the Financial Regulatory systems in the UK and I hope that I can assist in bringing about change that will be to the benefit of all .

Bringing awareness and understanding  to the lawmakers is a key element in bringing about changes which could do much to protect people from financial abuse by immoral introducers and white collar criminals who prey on innocent and naive victims."