A Claims Management Company
Total amount invested
Why did people invest in it?
Avacade was an introducer who persuaded clients to invest in non-standard, unregulated investments. This was primarily aimed at individuals looking to setup a SIPP. They offered higher than usual returns.
Why was it mis-selling?
Avacade is currently the object of an investigation by the FCA, and three directors are named for being “knowingly concerned” in the alleged wrongdoing. This investigation is related to the sale of investments in Ethical Forestry, which Avacade sold as “low risk” when this was objectively false.
Potential value of cases
Avacade Ltd was an introducer who put their clients in contact with their network of Independent Financial Advisors. They used this to suggest potential investments to their clients, usually by offering a range of non-standard investments to allow their customers to take advantage of the then recently relaxed pensions regulations. They also offered a “free pensions report” that they used as a method to reach out to customers, and suggested they make changes to their current pension arrangements.
In November 2017, the FCA began civil proceedings against Avacade, which by this time was in liquidation. Proceedings were also initiated against three directors of Avacade: Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox. The FCA alleged that the free pensions report was used to entice customers into entering into a SIPP, and was tantamount to offering financial advice. As Avacade were not authorised by the FCA, they should never have conducted this business.
These SIPPs often featured non-standard investments, for instance Ethical Forestry. This investment in particular is now the subject of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office as they should not have been offering financial advice, let alone into non-standard high-risk investments, Avacade and its directors were argued to be in breach of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and the Financial Services Act 2012. Their trial is scheduled for January 2020.
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