July 21, 2024

Guardian report pours scorn on OFT price-fixing investigation – and Peverel’s contemptible £100,000 ‘goodwill’ offer

GuardianpaperYesterday the Guardian published a devastating report of the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal.

It poured scorn on Peverel for systematically cheating residents of retirement leasehold, on the Office of Fair Trading for its scandalous feeble report and being suckered into granting Peverel leniency.

It also rightly derided Peverel’s £100,000 offer of a “goodwill gesture” – which should prompt a gesture of an altogether more vulgar variety in reply.

The article was written by Patrick Collinson, the personal finance editor, who has written about Peverel in the past.

Please comment on the article here in order to prompt a follow-up:

It would be useful if the Guardian reports the compensation proposals put forward by Sir Peter Bottomley, which are supported by Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Limehouse and Poplar, and Ed Davey, the LibDem Energy Secretary and Cabinet minister.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has received a number of other examples where Cirrus has carried out works at sites for disputable amounts of money.

Please keep us informed: if your site has been ripped off and is not on the OFT list, we will look into it.

If Peverel has not reported all the sites where the scams operated, then the OFT’s pathetic leniency deal will not apply.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation is also keen to discover what the ARHM has to say about this disgrace. Or the Elderly Accommodation Council, which seems to spend its time doling out awards and linking to a retirement housing estate agency.

The ARHM, funded mainly by Peverel, pontificates about standards, transparency, decency and the rest … now it can comment on an OFT report which, even in its diluted form, is a devastating critique of those managing retirement housing.

It would also be an occasion for Sally (Baroness) Greengross, ARHM president and former head of Age Concern, to address this issue.

She appears to have spent the last 25 years downplaying issues in retirement leasehold and was – according to John McCarthy – the first port of call when McCarthy and Stone disastrously attempted to sue the Daily Telegraph.

She famously said complainers in retirement leasehold were “barrack-room lawyers”, and joked with ARHM members about the indignation caused by the remark.

If nothing else, the OFT report into the corporate plundering of pensioners by Peverel / Cirrus has shown her to be partial and foolish on this subject.



  1. Peverel Retirement, Peverel Management Services Ltd or Peverel Services Ltd along with their sister companies, CirrusUK and Kingsborough Insurance Services Ltd are just a few of the Peverel Group Companies that add up to a Multi Million Pound Industry.

    Our development is owned by the Freeholder who has issued a 125 year head lease to Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd who are owned by Peverel Group, are you still with me??

    Peverel Retirement and Peverel Management Services Ltd are the names on the letters/notices/invoices sent out by this company and they have some 1450 developments and as we pay £12,000 as one development then extrapolate this by the number and we get the figure of over £18 million pounds a year for their management fees.

    The original company Peverel Group ( Consensus Business Group ) was placed into administration when an Icelandic Bank went belly up and the Peverel Group were made to pay their debts plus interest.

    The new Peverel who was purchased by Chamonix and Electra for £62 million pounds knowing that the Peverel Group had been Price Fixing/Tender Rigging and so purchased the name and the future debts.

    It is said that Janet Entwistle CEO of Peverel has set aside £8 million pounds to pay for the misappropriation of funds in the future?

    The offer of £100,000 as compensation (not a goodwill gesture as they claim) is an insult to the 65 developments as this is £1538.46 to each development. So we would have received £54.95 each, yet we paid out £750.00 each for a Warden Call System.

    We were informed that the system was obsolete in 2005/06, yet when it was damaged by a Lightening Strike in both June and July in 2007 as claimed by our Area Manager in writing to us, we received 95% of the cost of the replacement?

    So it says that crime doesn’t pay, that is unless you are a major player as Peverel Retirement Division, Peverel Management Services Ltd or Peverel Services Ltd including CirrusUK.

    All these companies are still trading using our money to repay a miserly £54.95 to each development?

    The total cost to us Residents/Pensioners has been £1.9 million pounds and they offer £100,000?

    So who investigates the Office of Fantasy Tendering OFT?

    • Michael Epstein says

      In the interests of “openness and transparency” for which Miss Entwistle sets so much store by, the £8,000,000 has been set aside to resolve resident disputes, even though Peverel will vigorously defend themselves against such disputes.
      It should also be noted that a further £6,000,000 has been given back to Electra.
      You refer to the 65 affected developments. Closer inspection of the OFT judgement mentions that “A MINIMUM OF 65 DEVELOPMENTS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED” From that it is clear there may be more!
      If Peverel think this issue is closed they are very wrong.

    • Insurance will cover damage to an older system as long as it has been maintained. In simple terms if your roof blows off and was 40 years old, most policies will cover it. If however tiles etc were missing and it was ill used, they will reduce the payout.

      While there is time, observations on the system from the loss adjusters might be useful though.

      • Michael Epstein says

        You are correct, In the case of a roof, provided it has been properly maintained it will be covered by insurance should it accidentally ” blow off”.
        However, in the case of the alarm systems Cirrus/Peverel had already informed residents the system was obsolete, and thus by implication beyond economic repair. The question must be asked, if Peverel disclosed this to the Insurance company?

        • Well no, it might be serviceable, as the removal of parts for spares shows. Obsolescence might be because of an oudated spec which no longer meets current needs or requirements, or that the cables are failing after 20+ years( they might be on the shelf for 5 years prior to fitting) and in the long run its cheaper to replace the system ( or upgrade it) than replace call points handsets etc when they begin to fail in say 5 years time. it might be the other way around, good cables but worn out panels or handsets. In each case people will have to establish what was meant, rather than assumed or infered (as you might have done with concluding its “BER”),by “obsolete”.

    • “The total cost to us Residents/Pensioners has been £1.9 million pounds and they offer £100,000?”

      Which you reply to by saying “you realise that is roughly half the fees charged to oversee the project” ( assuming 10%). Puts it into a new perspective… :).

  2. The comment above on the 5th line from the bottom should have been “to each resident in the development”

    Sorry if any confusion