I am an admirer of Angie Brooks, though my opinion of her is not shared by Andrew Warwick- Thompson of the Pension Regulator.
Angie and Andrew see pension scams in different ways. This evening I talked with Angie about her clients , those she at 63 is fighting for – one has just died of cancer. Angie engages with the problems with passion , with emotion and with great humour.
I sense that those robbed out of their pension funds by the scammers of Spain, Switzerland and Eastern Europe are real people with real money and are deserving of real regulation. Angie has won the respect of people like me because she really cares.
The Regulator needs to get real
By comparison Andrew Warwick-Thompson , (Tinky-Winky in Angie’s world) has an image problem. Here are two quotes taken from a recent review commissioned by tPR supremo Lesley Titcomb
which contrasts with this
I think you can guess where Angie is on this
Quite apart from the vivacity of her tweets, Angie is spot on. Here is the substance of tPR’s press release.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is warning pension savers, trustees and administrators of the danger of rogue individuals using scamming techniques, after taking action to prohibit the trustees of 5G Futures Pension scheme.
A notice published today by TPR (PDF, 230kb, 6 pages) confirms that John Garry Williams (also known as Garry John Williams) and Susan Lynn Huxley have been prohibited from being trustees of pension schemes with immediate effect on the grounds that neither are a fit or proper person to hold the position, citing a lack of integrity, competence and capability.
Angie has been advising anyone who will listen about the 5G Futures Pension scheme as she has warned against Steven Ward and his scams and many, many more. She does not use legal language, she uses the language of a mother, of a friend and of a carer and that is what the Pensions Regulator can learn.
Real money is stolen from real people and we need more than the press release from the Pension Regulator can offer.
No hostages to fortune
I wrote to Lesley Titcomb about this, this morning saying exactly this. Within 30 minutes, I was talking with the press office who were explaining the limits of the Pensions Regulator’s powers.
It is worth stating again that the Pensions Regulator can only act against trustees and they cannot take criminal proceedings on their own. They need to work alongside the police and action fraud; – to use Angie’s terminology, they have the heat-resistance of a chocolate teapot. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of this kitchen – at the very least don’t willy-waggle in front of the scammers – they will laugh.
We need a regulator with balls. I hope she will pardon me for saying so, but Lesley Titcomb is that kind of regulator and I wish that she will get real.
We want the personal intense passion from the Regulator that we get from Angie Brooks.
Time to change the tone.
On Thursday afternoon, Andrew Warwick-Thompson produced a speech that would have stunned Angie Brookes. It was funny, passionate and angry. Ok – I was the butt of his joke , but this was this guy at the top of his game and even if he is ducking the forced consolidation of lame-duck DC trusts, Warwick-Thompson had the better of me.
A couple of years back, he was threatening Angie with lawyers and legal action , for doing what Angie does, protecting others.
I want more of the new Regulator, speaking not to a bunch of industry has-beens, but to the scammers and the victims of scams. I want a real regulator speaking with the authentic voice of a Titcomb and a Brooks.