Later Life

Pension introducers ordered to repay £10.7m over illegal SIPP transfers

Rozi Jones
11th August 2020
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In a case brought by the FCA, the High Court has ordered two companies and three directors to repay a total of £17,415,000 in compensation to consumers who were induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).

The order was made against Avacade, Alexandra Associates and their directors, Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.

The Court found that Avacade’s and AA’s activities were unlawful as they had engaged in the regulated activities of arranging and advising on investments, made unapproved financial promotions through their websites, promotional material and in telephone calls to consumers and made false or misleading statements. The Court also found that the directors were knowingly concerned in Avacade’s and AA’s breaches.

The Court has ordered Avacade to repay £10,000,000 and AA to repay £715,000. Craig and Lee Lumis must repay £2,500,000 each and Raymond Fox must repay £1,700,000.

Additionally, the three directors have been banned from engaging in regulated activities in the UK without authorisation, making financial promotions and making false or misleading statements about regulated investments.

Subject to any appeals against the judgment, the FCA will take steps to recover monies from the defendants, so that it can return them to the investors. Any Avacade/AA customers who believe they may have lost money, and have not previously been contacted by the FCA about this matter, have been advised to contact the FCA.

Mark Steward, the FCA's executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said: "The FCA will make wrongdoers financially accountable to consumers whom, as the Court recognises in this decision, 'include elderly and vulnerable citizens who have paid their due share of income tax, made sacrifices, and taken prudential decisions for their future retirement over the course of an honest working life.'"

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