Industry

Ex-Norton boss Stuart Garner ordered to pay back £14m!

Pensions Ombudsman rules that trustee of Norton pensions schemes Stuart Garner was ‘dishonest’ in his running of them

EX-NORTON boss Stuart Garner is being ordered to pay back £14m from the retirement funds he was the trustee of. The news comes after the Pensions Ombudsman ruled he was ‘dishonest’ in his running of the schemes following a lengthy investigation.

The investigation began after Garner had failed to transfer funds to the Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Donington MC Pension Scheme and the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme. Instead of releasing the funds into the schemes, something the trustee should do within six months, Garner invested the money into the struggling Norton Motorcycles brand.

The investigation onto the scandal was brought about after 30 members of the three schemes made complaints that Garner had also failed to release funds to return the funds to pension holders when they were due.

The report, that you can read in full here, goes states that Garner has acted “acted dishonestly and in breach of his duty of no conflict”, going on to say state that Garner was possibly ill-qualified to run such a scheme. It reads “The Trustee [Stuart Garner] has breached his statutory duty to have acquired knowledge and understanding of the law relating to pensions and trusts”

Norton Commando custom from the Tokyo Motorcycle show 2019

The Ombudsman is ordering Garner to pay back a total amount of around £14m to the pension scheme members, along with £180,000 to the original 30 applicants for “exceptional maladministration causing injustice”.

The Guardian reports that Stephen Timms, the chairman of parliament’s work and pensions select committee, said: “Mr Garner, whose blunted moral antennae have been so forensically exposed by the ombudsman, must now comply with this ruling and return their savings immediately.

“Any further delay will be all the more painful for savers because concerns about this scheme were being raised as long ago as 2014, but somehow even those alarm bells were not enough to prevent this outcome.

“This shocking case raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the regulators involved and the protections we have for people who fall victim to pension scams.”

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