Defrauded pensioners sue life company - Business - News - The Independent

Defrauded pensioners sue life company

PENSIONERS who lost their life savings through a financial adviser imprisoned for theft four years ago are still battling to win compensation from a life company which is refusing to admit any liability.

Trethowans, a Salisbury- based firm of solicitors, has issued a writ against Sentinel Life on behalf of 37 pensioners who lost their money through the Bristol adviser Martyn Foster. The solicitors hope to retrieve more than pounds 500,000 on behalf of the investors. Mr Foster was jailed four years ago for gambling away more than pounds 1m of his clients' money.

Mr Foster sold his clients investment bonds in a variety of different companies including Norwich Union, Standard Life, Allied Dunbar and Sentinel Life, then owned by Aitken- Hulme International.

He squandered his clients money by 'churning policies', that is by unnecessarily switching them between bonds to earn extra commission. He also began to surrender policies early by falsifying clients' signatures.

Since then, many of the companies that held the bonds have made ex gratia payments to investors who have lost money. Sentinel, now owned by Century Life, has refused to pay out.

Tom Bish, a solicitor with Trethowans, said: 'Most of the money invested by the group represented pension and redundancy payments. We have been left with no alternative but to take proceedings against the company.' All the investments were made before the Financial Services Act came into force, which means that the investors are unable to claim on the Investors Compensation Scheme.

Many of the investors were former employees of Cadbury Schweppes in Bristol. One, John Clothier, is secretary of an action group of investors that is spearheading the compensation bid. Mr Clothier invested pounds 65,000 - a commuted pension and redundancy money - through Mr Foster, nearly two thirds of it in Sentinel Life bonds. The range of compensation claims against the company is from pounds 2,000 to pounds 50,000.

Mr Bish said many of the insurance companies had acknowledged liability or partial liability, and had paid out. 'Normally in these cases, investors can go to the Insurance Ombudsman to get a ruling. Unfortunately Sentinel Life is not a member of the scheme.'

Mr Bish said the policy surrenders were made over a short period and that Sentinel should have realised what was going on. 'In spite of exhaustive attempts by the group, Century Life has failed to acknowledge any degree of liability whatsoever. Accordingly, the Foster group has been left with no alternative but to take proceedings against Century Life.'

Jack Aspinwall, the Tory MP for Wansdyke, has also taken up the case on behalf of the pensioners.

Century Life refused to comment directly on the legal action but said it would be fighting it.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week