The two firms in questions are Avacade Limited, which traded as Avacade Investment Options and is now in liquidation, and Alexandra Associates, which trades as Avacade Future Solutions.
Avacade provided a pension support service that was marketed as summarising a consumer’s pension information and retirement objective to help them decide what to do with their pensions.
The FCA alleges that these firms made misleading statements and carried out regulated activities in the UK without FCA authorisation or exemption.
Additionally, the FCA alleges the firms communicated financial promotions without the required authorisation or approval, contrary to the financial regulation.
Civil proceedings are also being taken against Avacade’s management team Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.
“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 said.
In providing the pension support service, Avacade promoted self-invested personal pensions (Sipp) and investments in alternative, sustainable investments, such as tree plantations.
The FCA is seeking restitution orders in favour of consumers who were affected by the 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.