Heartache for savers who see pension pots collapse - as police launch investigation into Norwich firm

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it du

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it due to a dodgy investment.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Savers from Norfolk have told of their heartache after seeing thousands of pounds wiped off the value of their pension pots after their investments collapsed.

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it du

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it due to a dodgy investment.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

An EDP investigation has found at least three cases where pensioners have lost large chunks of their savings after investing with the same company. There are, however, believed to be more savers affected.

The men who run the firm, who we cannot name for legal reasons, are now the subject of a police investigation into alleged fraud.

One of those affected is north Norfolk woman Ann Lown, 61, and her 67-year-old husband who have lost almost half of their savings – a six figure sum.

Mrs Lown, of Plumstead, near Holt, claims her money was invested in a high-risk scheme without her knowledge.

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it du

Ann Lown and her husband Michael invested money with a financial adviser and have lost half of it due to a dodgy investment.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Now the mother-of-one and her husband will have to continue working longer than originally planned.

'It will affect our retirement plans,' she said. 'That's our retirement pot.'

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Mrs Lown said she was devastated for those who had lost all of their savings.

'Our feelings go out to those people who have lost everything,' she added.

The problems centre on money pumped into a high-risk scheme, called Contract for Differences, which come with great risks, as well as potentially large gains.

Mrs Lown's husband Michael realised something was wrong in March when he visited the office of the company. She added: 'They just said 'it's one of those things, investments go down as well as up'.

'When my husband spotted something was not right that was when we got the rest of our money out.'

Mrs Lown and her husband hope their money will be returned to them, but added: 'If it is lost we would be completely devastated.'

Great-grandfather Jim, (not his real name) said he had hoped to take a holiday with his wife and update his car.

But the Wroxham man, who is in his 80s, has seen his investment shrink by 40pc, a figure in excess of £20,000.

He said his money had been with the company for five or six years, and up until recently he had been pleased with the handling of it. 'It has affected our plans for the future,' he said. 'It means we can't have any reasonable holiday at all, update the car or have a lump sum to leave for our family.'

Another 67-year-old man claimed 60pc of his wife's pension had been lost, a figure reaching tens of thousands of pounds.

Do you feel you have suffered losses through this investment scheme? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

Do you have a story for the Investigations Unit? Contact David Powles on 01603 772478 or email david.powles@archant.co.uk