Former Norton Boss Stuart Garner Must Pay Back £14M

Norton unveils Breitling Commando 961
Image from Norton

It’s About the Pensions

So, the verdict is in on the Norton pensions scheme that Norton’s ex-CEO Stuart Garner was the trustee of. The Pensions Ombudsman ruled he was ‘dishonest’ and because of this dishonesty, he will have to pay back £14 million (roughly $17 million), according to Visordown.

There was an investigation into the pensions scheme, and it found that instead of releasing the money of the Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Donington MC Pension Scheme and the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme, Garner reinvested that money into his failing motorcycle company. Garner failed to release the funds when they were due, and that led to 30 complaints to the government, which then began an investigation.

Most of us are aware of the issues with Norton Motorcycles, specifically the financial issues that the company sustained that led up to TVS buying the famed British brand. At the same time that all that was going on, Garner was running these pensions schemes in an effort to keep the business afloat.

“The Trustee [Stuart Garner] has breached his statutory duty to have acquired knowledge and understanding of the law relating to pensions and trusts,” the report read. Garner will also have to pay an additional £180,000 to the 30 people who filed complaints.

The whole debacle has raised questions with the effectiveness of regulators involved and the protections for people. Concerns about the schemes were raised all the way back in 2014 and they are just now being resolved. It’s good to see that Garner will have to pay back the money, but I wonder if some kind of further action should be taken or the regulatory process reevaluated.