Stuart Garner’s dealings as trustee of pensions schemes that invested into the failing motorcycle brand before it went into administration are being probed.
The former CEO of British motorcycle brand Norton Motorcycles is being investigated by The Pensions Regulator regarding his conduct as a trustee of three pension schemes invested directly into his collapsed business. The move comes after Norton Motorcycles went into administration in January this year, also wiping out the Norton pension schemes worth 14 million GBP, leaving 228 people without retirement savings. Investigations had revealed in January 2020, that elderly British pensioners invested their life savings back in 2012 and 2013 into three separate pension funds that somehow seemed to invest that money into Norton Motorcycles.
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The trustee of the funds was Stuart Garner, who was also CEO of Norton Motorcycles at that time and had acquired the classic motorcycle brand in 2008. Garner was also accused in May last year of “inexcusable conduct” by the Pensions Ombudsman, who was responding to a complaint made by one pension fund holder. The accusations at that time claimed that the pensions fund, which bought shares directly in Norton Motorcycles, meant Garner as a trustee had a conflict of interest in his role.
Norton Motorcycles went into administration in January 2020, with questions raised over a long list of problems, ranging from customers paying deposits for bikes they never received, to a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over 300,000 GBP in unpaid taxes and the company’s auditors raising questions about how the business was managing its cash flow.