Pen­sion in­tro­duc­ers acted un­law­fully, rules High Court

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Jessica Beard

TWO pen­sion “in­tro­duc­ers” acted un­law­fully and put thou­sands of peo­ple’s sav­ings at risk, ac­cord­ing to a High Court rul­ing in favour of the City watch­dog over the trans­fer of £92m from pen­sion schemes.

The judge ruled against two in­tro­duc­ers, which made mis­lead­ing state­ments and of­fered unau­tho­rised ad­vice that en­cour­aged savers to trans­fer their life sav­ings into risky in­vest­ments, such as tree plan­ta­tions and Brazil­ian prop­erty de­vel­op­ments.

More than £69m of the to­tal amount in­vested is ex­pected to have been lost af­ter it was placed in in­vest­ments that were pro­moted by the two groups, Ava­cade Fu­ture So­lu­tions and Alexan­dra As­so­ciates, and di­rec­tors Craig Lum­mis, Lee Lum­mis and Ray­mond Fox.

A pen­sion in­tro­ducer is an un­reg­u­lated mar­ket­ing firm that is paid to in­tro­duce clients to a pen­sion provider or a set of in­vest­ments. It typ­i­cally con­tacts peo­ple via a cold call of­fer­ing a free pen­sion re­view. Cold call­ing on pen­sions has since been made il­le­gal.

The Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity won its case against the two in­tro­duc­ers, af­ter it ac­cused them of un­law­ful ac­tiv­ity. Al­though pen­sion in­tro­duc­ers do not come un­der fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tion, the Court ruled that both firms had ar­ranged and ad­vised on in­vest­ments, which are reg­u­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

The firms were also found to have made false or mis­lead­ing state­ments and mar­keted un­ap­proved fi­nan­cial pro­mo­tions via their web­sites and tele­phone calls. More than 2,000 peo­ple trans­ferred £91.8m from their pen­sions into self-in­vested per­sonal pen­sions sold by Ava­cade and Alexan­dra As­so­ciates, ac­cord­ing to the FCA.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.