Ex-Norton boss denied permission to appeal £14m pension scheme repayment

The ex-boss of Norton Motorcycles, Stuart Garner, has been refused permission to appeal against directions from The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) to pay £14m to the motorcycle manufacturer’s pension scheme.

However, as reported by The Guardian,Garner has been given the go-ahead to appeal against directions to pay £180,000 in distress payments to 30 members after he failed to return funds to them on time.

In June, Garner was ordered by TPO to repay all the money from the company’s pension schemes that he had invested into his own firm, having used the funds to purchase preference shares in Norton company after individuals were encouraged by certain ‘advisers’ to make pension transfers into the schemes.

In addition to the sum paid by each scheme to purchase shares in Norton Motorcycles, Garner was instructed to pay a further 8 per cent per annum interest from the date of investment.

In its original ruling, TPO had stated that Garner had acted “dishonestly” and “recklessly” with the schemes’ members’ savings, also ordering him to pay each member £6,000 for the “exceptional maladministration causing injustice”.

The report quoted Mr Justice Fancourt as stating: “There could have been no good reason to delay the payment of compensation unless there was compelling evidence that it would be provided by other means within the timescale specified by the ombudsman.”

It was also reported that Garner, who in the summer commented that it was “likely” that pension investors would receive all their money back, is facing personal bankruptcy and is the subject of a personal bankruptcy petition filed by Leicester City Council.

Norton has also faced financial difficulties this year, entering administration in January before being sold to India’s TVS Motor Company for £16m in April.

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