Pensioners fear they have lost savings
Ben KendallPensioners who fear they have lost their life savings following the collapse of an investment firm caught up in a fraud investigation have called for reassurances over a possible compensation deal.Ben Kendall
Pensioners who fear they have lost their life savings following the collapse of an investment firm caught up in a fraud investigation have called for reassurances over a possible compensation deal.
At least 3,500 Norwich and Peterborough customers have savings invested in Keydata Investments Services which was forced into administration last year. An investigation has found at least 200 people from Norfolk who had invested sums ranging from �10,000 to more than �100,000 on the advice of N&P independent financial advisors.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) - the supposed safety net for investors if regulated businesses fail - has said it will not pay compensation to many savers who put money into Keydata plans. Meanwhile a spokesman for N&P said the building society was doing everything possible to broker a solution.
Customers said they have repeatedly hit brick walls in their requests for help. Many added that there is no clarity about what they are entitled to and when they can expect answers on the future of their savings.
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Kenneth Brett, from Hellesdon, had �20,000 invested in Keydata. He said: "The advice from N&P was that this was a low-risk investment - I wasn't prepared to deal with cowboys. I feel I was badly advised and it is time we had answers about what's going on."
Rosina Grice, 76, a widow from Mattishall, had invested �20,000 in Keydata on the advice of a Norwich and Peterborough financial advisor. She had previously lost �18,000 in another investment.
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Mrs Grice said: 'I wasn't prepared to take any risks with my money. I just wanted a decent monthly return in a low-risk investment and was told this was the right way to go.
'Now all I have is the basic state pension. I have my home but other than that I could be left with nothing."
Many said they were confused about who was responsible for their investment. Both the Financial Services Authority and FSCS are involved while the Serious Fraud Office is investigated Keydata's activities. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as administrator.
A spokesman for the FSCS said it expects to process the majority of claims within six months of receiving an application form. The FSCS can pay compensation to eligible claimants up to a maximum of �48,000 (100pc of the first �30,000 and 90pc of the next �20,000) per person.
N&P spokeswoman Alison Rolls said: "We are working hard to try to bring the relevant agencies together to try to find a solution."
•For more information visit www.FSCS.org.uk or contact 020 7892 7300.
Have you been affected? Contact Ben Kendall on 01603 772423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org