The UK High Court has ordered pension introducers Avacade, Alexandra Associates and their directors to pay £10.7m restitution to consumers.
The order is the end result of a case brought before the authorities by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the companies induced the public to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
In total, High Court has ordered two companies and three individuals to pay £10,715,000 in restitution to members of the public induced to transfer their pensions into SIPPs.
The court found that the companies’ 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 three individuals 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.
“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,” said Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight.
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