12 July 2016
The following statement is in response to the BBC Panorama programme ‘Pensions Rip Off’, which aired at 20.30 on Monday 11th July 2016.
The Resort Group PLC takes the matters raised extremely seriously. It expects any company that it works with, whether owned or a third party, to operate to the highest standards and to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. There are clear policies and training in place to ensure these requirements are complied with.
Whilst we have systems and processes in place to monitor compliance with training programmes, we are grateful to Panorama for recently bringing these matters to our attention which we are investigating as a matter of urgency. It is important to point out that a pension transfer into The Resort Group PLC is not possible without advice from an appropriately qualified financial advisor independent of The Resort Group PLC.
We are also aware that the Panorama programme may raise concerns for any of our clients that invested through a pension transfer. We apologise for any concern they may feel and would encourage them to contact us via telephone or email if they would like to discuss their situation.
Any assertion that the Pensions Regulator ruled that investments in The Resort Group PLC are unsuitable for pension schemes is simply incorrect. The only finding that applied to an investment in The Resort Group was that it was considered to be “illiquid”. This is not strictly true as property can be sold at any time, even before completion, and there is also a secondary market. The real concern of the Pensions Regulator appeared to be that all of the investments made by the particular pensions scheme in question were illiquid and therefore there was not the sort of diversified approach which is preferable from a risk-perspective.
To be clear, all investments with The Resort Group PLC are safe and all our investors have received all payments due, and will continue to do so in the future.
It is important to clarify that following a review of the Company’s operating model in February 2016 it was decided that both Lifestyle Connections Ltd and First Review Pension Services Ltd should cease to take on new business from 30 June 2016.
As a result, The Resort Group PLC does not operate any direct sales channels today.
The Resort Group PLC is a reputable company and a trusted partner of some of the world’s leading hospitality companies. Over the last 10 years the company has built a solid track record delivering properties and returns promised to thousands of customers both during construction and after the delivery of our resorts.