FCA commences civil proceedings in relation to alleged misleading statements on pension investments

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has commenced civil proceedings against Avacade Limited (in liquidation), trading as Avacade Investment Options, and Alexandra Associates (U.K.) Limited, trading as Avacade Future Solutions, and against Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.

The FCA is alleging that Avacade and Alexandra Associates provided a pension report service, marketed as summarising a consumer’s pension information and retirement objective to help consumers to decide what to do with their pension. In performing that service, Avacade promoted self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) and investments in alternative investments such as tree plantations.

The FCA alleges that these firms made misleading statements, carried out regulated activities in the UK without FCA authorisation or exemption, and communicated financial promotions without the required authorisation or approval contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Financial Services Act 2012. The FCA also alleges that Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox were each knowingly concerned in Avacade’s breaches and Craig Lummis and Lee Lummis were each knowingly concerned in Alexandra Associate’s breaches.

The FCA is seeking restitution orders in favour of consumers who were affected by these breaches as well as declarations of contravention and injunctions to prevent further breaches. The court proceedings are at an early stage and no date for trial has been set.

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