£9.4m compensation finally agreed for victims of Norton pension fraud scandal over a decade on


The Fraud Compensation Fund has agreed to pay out £9.4 million in relief to investors of three retirement funds that collapsed amidst the Norton pension scandal.  

“We will pay out in full for the loss of those [affected] members,” promised Sara Protheroe, Chief Customer Officer at the Pension Protection Fund. Although this pledge will not account for inflation or investment growth, it should allow victims to recoup their payments, alongside the approximately £1.5 million already returned. 

Throughout 2012 and 2013, 227 pension-holders pledged their savings in return for preference shares issued by Norton Motorcycle Holdings Ltd, for which former Norton owner Stuart Garner was both the director and majority shareholder.

Stuart Garner

In the region of £11.5 million was ultimately transferred out of the retirement funds, the majority of which was then invested into three Norton pension schemes, namely Dominator 2012, Commando 2012 and Donington MC – for which Garner was the sole trustee.     

For the majority of these victims, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. MCN enquired with the Pension Protection Fund as to when repayments would be offered to individuals, but no definitive date could be given as trustees are still finalising the details of the repayment package. 

Some of those affected have not lived long enough to see the return of their long-lost assets. Among these was the father of Sally Holmes. After investing £155,891 from his Halifax pension into the Commando pot, he was unable to recover a penny of his investment, despite numerous attempts to withdraw funds by himself and family members. He died in October 2019, without receiving compensation. 

Norton motorcycle side view

An initial whistleblowing report was passed to The Pensions Regulator in 2013. This was ‘’not prioritised” at the time and it was not until a further report for “employer related investment” was made in 2017 that the regulator launched an investigation into Garner’s activities. 

In 2020 Norton Motorcycle Holdings Ltd went bust and two years later, in March 2022, Garner was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to illegal pension investments. Accompanying this, Garner was ordered to pay costs of £20,716 and disqualified from directing a company for three years. 

From those ashes, TVS stepped in to resurrect the brand, injecting millions of pounds into R&D and establishing the Norton brand that exists today.