12 August 2021 | Comment | Article by Neil Stockdale
FCA secures almost £11m in compensation for pension investors following success in Court of Appeal against Avacade
In December 2017 we wrote about unregulated firms Avacade Limited and Alexandra Associates facing legal sanctions after being accused by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of misleading investors and carrying out unauthorised regulated activity: Introducer firms accused of making misleading statements on pension investments | Hugh James.
The FCA has now won its long-running dispute against Avacade and Alexandra Associates UK and its directors. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision that these unregulated introducers acted unlawfully when they arranged pension transfers into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), facilitating high-risk investments such as, Hot Pods or Brazilian property developments – many of which have since failed.
In total 2000 pension investors lost their pension funds following misleading statements and unregulated advice from Avacade and Alexandra Associates. The Court of Appeal in upholding the High Court’s original ruling goes some way to vindicating the rights of the 2000 investors given that the two companies and its directors are now subject to an order to pay £10,715,000 in restitution.
Avacade previously hit the headlines for its unregulated advice when it advised consumers to transfer their entire pension pot into Liberty SIPP to again facilitate, a series of unregulated and speculative investments. In accepting these investments into its portfolio, without sufficient checks in place, Liberty SIPP failed to conduct adequate due diligence. Consequently, Hugh James has been able to pursue a number of successful claims against Liberty SIPP via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) resulting thousands of pounds in compensation.
If you transferred into a Liberty SIPP and think you could be owed compensation, Hugh James’s expert Financial Mis-Selling team will be able to guide you through the FSCS process to recover your money and can represent you on a “no win, no fee” basis.
Speak to one of our specialist financial mis-selling solicitors today, to find out how we can help.