FCA has won a case in the High Court against Avacade Limited and Alexandra Associates (UK) Limited and their three directors. The companies provided a pension reports service and made misleading statements as a result of which consumers transferred their pensions into SIPPs and then into alternative investments including HotPods, tree plantations and Brazilian property developments – many of which have failed or are in liquidation. Neither firm was authorised.
The Court found the firms (once of which is in liquidation) had made unapproved financial promotions and carried on the regulated activities of arranging and advising.
The Court ordered the remaining firm and the three directors not to engage in unauthorised activities in the UK, and FCA will be asking it to determine what restitution is due. FCA says over 2,000 consumers transferred over £90m into SIPPs. The companies earned commissions of over £10m.