June 17, 2024

Janet Entwistle to Bottomley: no move on £100,000 ‘goodwill’ payment over Cirrus, but she welcomes meeting with MPs and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation

JanetEntwistleJanet Entwistle, the Peverel chief executive, won’t increase the compensation – Peverel terms it ‘goodwill’ – offered to sites that were likely to have been cheated in the Cirrus price-fixing scandal.

Her decision is made in reply to Sir Peter Bottomley – supported by LibDem Cabinet minister Ed Davey and Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick – who last week urged her to increase the compensation to “beyond 25 per cent” of the total sum involved, or to accept mediation.

Entwistle repeats her regret that the scandal occurred and her view that “these practices were completely unacceptable”.

 “As you will appreciate in the course of their investigation the OFT has had full disclosure of and access to all our information. The OFT made no finding of whether there was any over-payment for work carried out but we do accept the OFT conclusion that it is likely there was some over-payment for the systems that were supplied and installed by Cirrus. We can’t know what the price would have been without collusive tendering, but we have decided to make a goodwill payment to the contingency funds of affected developments of 10% of the price of any resulting work. We consider this to be an appropriate amount.

“I am pleased to see that you support mediation as I believe that greater use of mediation would be beneficial in many leasehold issues and is something we would generally support. However, the OFT which is an independent body, established by Parliament has made a decision following a four-year investigation, during which we have made all information available. With that in mind I do not believe mediation is appropriate here. I appreciate the concerns you have raised and I would like to offer reassurance about how Peverel Group does business today.”

Entwistle’s full reply is here:

Peter Bottomley Reply – 18.12.13

She also forwarded to Sir Peter copies of Peverel’s Customer Charter and Code of Conduct.




  1. Michael Epstein says

    Miss Entwistle,
    I Quote from you ” We can’t know what the price would have been without collusive tendering, but we have decided to make a goodwill payment to the contingency funds of affected developments of 10 % of the price of the price of any resulting work. We consider this to be an appropriate amount”
    Miss Entwistle, If you can’t know what the price would have been without collusive tendering, how can you know a 10% refund is appropriate?
    It is you ,yourself Miss Entwistle that keeps banging on about wanting to avoid legal action and instead encouraging the use of mediation. First chance you get you run a million miles from the very thought of mediation? We would accept the result of any mediation (even if they offered less). What are you scared of?

  2. The potential claim is 65 sites at 20,000 = 1.3 mill pds.

    1. The identified retirement home sites should collectively through a solicitor firm make a claim against the business public liability insurance of Peverel management companies. Can Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation find a no-win no-fee legal firm to represent 65 sites and make this claim ?

    2. Can Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation contact the Prudential Regulation Authority to get RBS Bank ( 83% funded by taxpayers) to withdraw lending to a price fixing company?

  3. Can all retired leaseholders see their local MPs and get him/her to write to the Prudential Regulation Authority to get RBS to withdraw lending to a price-fixing company ?

  4. ME,

    One rule for us and one rule for Peverel Group, we know how Peverel do business they fail again to realise the seriousness of what has happened?
    Peverel CEO Janet Entwistle (JE) has refused to accept the very mediation she has been championing to all developments since she took over.

    What would be interesting is for JE to provide a hierarchy of Peverel companies as can be found on DUEDIL which for a price will give the structure of the Peverel Empire, which will surprise the residents who only know about:-

    Peverel Retirement Division, This is only a Brand Name (for below) PMSL and the Managing Agent?

    Peverel Management Services Ltd, receive the Ground Rent from each development and pass it on to the Freeholder for a Fee?
    They receive the Commissions paid to them (as a percentage of the money we pay in insurance premiums) by Kingsborough who are paid by ( Oval Brokering Services Ltd) who do all the work? Kingsborough are simply a middleman and yet they have received £8,000.00 plus for work to insure our development?

    We have tried to work out the structure so we can be sure who does what????

    We have emailed JE over the past year and she passes us on to
    Chris Owens, Head of Customer Relations
    Luke Couper, works for Chris Owens?
    Adam West – Webb, unsure where he fits in?
    Carol Crowe, Head of Peverel Retirement, refuses to communicate at any level?

    This is the Peverel whose Charter is to be open and transparent?

    Peverel is as Open as the Russian Dolls, as you open one you find another inside? they will continue to refuse to discuss, Insurance Claims and Commissions and recently the Price Fixing?

    Transparent, as the Invisible Man, we can see straight through them?

  5. Susan Wood/Michael/Karen/ Ken/Mike and all those who are attempting to see that justice is seen to be done regarding Peverel Group, (I thought Consensus Business Group was known as the Peverel Group) have they risen from the ashes, as they were placed into administration on the 14/03/11.

    I have looked closely at the letter from our Janet and the OFT Press Statement from 05 July 2013 which is damming in its omission’s of what had occurred?

    Bare with me on this:_
    The Statement of Objections which is on the OFT website, which I have recently found? although now very hard to find, as they seem to have been hacked or someone does not want us to see what has been written and said?

    The fact that our Janet uses the same terminology as the Press Statement from OFT, to Sir Peter in this letter is frightening in the use of the exact wording, 6 months apart, that being where she quotes the same:-

    Janet states in her letter to Sir Peter:-

    “in relation to the supply and installation of certain access control and alarm systems to retirement properties in the period 2005-2009″.

    In the Press Statement from OFT on the 05July 2013 states:-

    ” in relation to the supply and installation of certain access control and alarm systems to retirement properties in the period 2005-2009″

    Forgive me but:-

    Where was the Warden Call System mentioned?
    It only mentioned:







    Also the wording in JE letter states “retirement properties” so we THE PENSIONERS WERE THE ONLY GROUP THAT WAS CHOSEN BY CIRRUS TO CHEAT BY PRICE FIXING?



    • Chas –

      Where did you find the Statement of Objections?
      The OFT said they would put the (non confidential) version on the website at some stage, but I can’t find it anywhere!

  6. Friends,
    Also where our Janet states openly to Sir Peter “that the OFT has made no finding of whether there was any over-payment for work carried out?
    ” this was not part of any statement regarding the investigation, so for our Janet to mention it and then go on to say ” ” that it is likely there was some over-payment for the systems that were supplied and installed by Cirrus”

    Our Janet goes on to say “we cant know what the price would have been”

    Janet it is your responsibility to now find out as we have found by asking, other similar companies what they would have charged?

    Cirrus have the specification so how difficult would it be? especially when Peverel will not be prepared to allow others to tender, as it shows how bad Cirrus has been by charging up to 50% over- payment?

    The over-payments were not just to Price Fixed Contracts, as we paid at our development, over £750.00 each for a phone and 4 pull cords, which was when we were updated?

    Peverel informed us in 2005/06 that the system was obsolete and Peverel were able to have the insurance company pay out for an obsolete system?

    This tells me that the system was not obsolete and the dis-information given in 2005/06 by our Area Manager/Regional Manager was pure fiction?

    Or the insurance company was negligent in paying us 95% of the cost to update, as it was claimed by our Area Manager. In letters to us residents he stated the lightening struck us twice once in the week beginning 21/06/07,and in another letter that it was struck in July 2007, and was damaged and unrepairable?

  7. Michael Epstein says

    Miss Entwistle relies on quotes from the OFT. What is good for her is good for me.
    From Cavendish Elithorn, OFT,
    Our enforcement action where it leads to an Infringement Decision can still form the basis for people who believe that they have suffered as a result to seek damages actions.
    And what that means, is that the OFT carried on with the investigation, precisely to clear the way for affected residents to take action against Peverel. It is not how Janet Entwistle would want you to believe. Quite the opposite. What the OFT has done is to give residents the judgement in our favour in any court action They have handed us the most powerful weapon we as residents have ever had.
    The only contention would be the amount of damages, but since Janet Entwistle has already in a letter to three members of Parliament that Peverel don’t know what the price would be without collusive tendering, they would find it very hard in court to suddenly come up with a figure.

  8. Michael Epstein says

    Before a court makes a decision on any amount of repayments due to victims of price fixing, they will first decide if a contract derived from collusive tendering is lawful? If the court is minded to say it is not, the whole value of the contract is unenforceable and must be refunded.
    For Miss Janet (we encourage the use of mediation) Entwistle to rule out mediation, does rather give the impression that she knows Peverel will be heavily defeated . Possibly she would have liked to offer a more significant goodwill payment to keep us quiet, but Peverel do not have the funds
    Perhaps Peverel Management have persuaded themselves that the victims of the price fixing won’t have the stamina for a court fight? They are very, very wrong. .

    • Or is it that they know that they won’t? It is assumed that Peveral did the deals, however this is a complex matter and they may argue in a more forensic forum that they were involved but that the blame does not lie solely with them. At this stage I believe that the risk was known at the time of the sale and “smart brains” were engaged to guage the loss. £100k is a drop in the ocean as we are talking about a few% of the value of known claims. Who would get out of bed and risk all for that? You would want 10 to 15 and more if you could. £100k feels like a gesture for appeareances sake.

  9. Michael Epstein says

    This may clash with another comment that has yet to appear, Peverel may have thought residents were just going to sit back, but if you look at the recent job applications, you will see they are preparing for a big fight. By the way Miss Entwistle, that fight will be with your “customers”

    • Well there are 2 issues. One is the recovery of money from the past which falls on the landlord not the agent, who has the fight with their client. The other is of course the potential criminal penalties and the OFT settlement. I am sure their approach is to make it a viable business by putting matters in the past with current growth. based on the comment about “true cost”, MIss E may be a business person, but she doesnt know much about PM nor has those around her that do. The alternative is that she is prepared to mislead or lie. The sectors graveyard is littered with firms and people who thought that they knew better.

  10. Guys

    Suing peverel is a waste of space as they have no liquid assets that can be used to pay any damages.

    The only WAY to sort the problem is for peverel to be REGULATED – and that will surely stop the scams and that will sort out the cash flow so that the investors will simply have to pull the proverbial to prevent further losses.

    Happy Days

    PS Pulling rugs can be dangerous if there is noting to pull …

    • I disagree that suing would be a waste of time to be honest as the assets are the freeholds which would gladly be accepted by some, I am sure… A good no win no fee lawyer will be able to break through all that and there are a few out there.

      I think a collective claim by one group to start with would be a good start and then once it gets some publicity (which it will) then I am sure others will be more than willing to add their names/developments to the list. But somebody has to start the ball rolling… my development is not Peverel otherwise it would be me!

      I am also aware of some other non retirement sites with the same issues. Security systems/Fire Alarm systems/ roof repairs being needed to be replaced and nobody knowing what the procedures are to challenge these costs.

      Regulation goes without saying, it must happen and we must keep up the pressure as this whole industry sucks….

      I am fast forwarding to 2018 when there will be a shortage of houses as the elderly refuse to sell up and move into ‘retirement homes’ and free up big houses for families…

      Are these young families then going to be put into the thousands of empty smaller retirement developments? Politicians are you listening?

  11. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    From Michael Hollands:

    It is clearly evident that Peverel are interpreting the OFT verdict and conclusion to their own advantage to avoid payout of compensation.
    I have had considerable correspondence with them in which i have tried to get them to pay out compensation.(I suggested £700000).
    I said it may bring the situation to a close and partly restore some of their reputation.
    The refuse and give the same old spin on the OFT conclusions, which is,

    1 The OFT did not find them guilty of price fixing
    2 There is no evidence of residents suffering a monetary loss.
    3 There are no more than 65 complexes affected.
    4 There was no over specifying of work.
    5 All the work undertaken was necessary.
    6 There is no need for an investigation into items 2,3,4 or 5 by an independand surveyor.
    7 There is no requirement to pay compensation.

    If this is going to be the result of the Inquiry it will have been a waste of time.
    The offenders getting off scot free and no compensation for the victims.
    It would have been better if the OFT had not told the whistle blowers to be quiet and the case taken to court.
    Then maybe the victims would have received compensation and the offender a heavy fine.
    I have sent all this correspondence to the OFT and asked them for clarification of their decision and final verdict.
    It cannot have been the one that Peverel believe it to be.

  12. Michael Epstein says

    A Reviewer and Karen,
    I am in favour of suing. However, I agree that Peverel have no liquid assets.
    As far as I am aware, they don’t own the freeholds either. They remained with the Tchenguiz Family Trust after Peverel was separated from the TFT in order to emerge from administration.
    TFT are in financial trouble, for which there could be serious consequences for Peverel as the vast majority of their appointments to manage come from the single source TFT.
    However, all is not lost . Who does have money is Electra/ Chammonix. Sue them as part of any action.

    • But, again, if it is a criminal act then it is against the individuals involved. If it is service charges it is the landlord, not the agent (unless they are party to the leases).

  13. Once again the Guardian has given support with a half page of letters about Peverel in the Money section – Saturday 21.12.13

  14. Mmm, anyone thought of an FOI request to see all the documents?