April 24, 2024

No change over Cirrus scam, says Entwistle, even though suing Peverel is an open goal for 65 sites

JanetEntwistleJanet Entwistle, the chief executive of Peverel (soon to be reborn as FirstPort), has ruled out mediation with retirement residents scammed in the Cirrus collusive tendering scandal.

Any “unhappy individuals” should make a complaint directly to her, she says in minutes of a meeting with Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation on October 10.

Having orchestrated a price-fixing racket for four years (between 2005 and 2009), Peverel got off scot-free after the Office of Fair Trading gave it leniency accepting the preposterous fiction that Peverel had turned itself in rather than been rumbled.

Four years later – in December 2013 – when the OFT at last ruled that 65 retirement sites had been cheated, Peverel offered a “goodwill” payment of £100,000 to the affected sites.

(The whole OFT inquiry cost £500,000 and resulted in one fine of £1,777 to Owens Installations, the smallest stooge in the scam.)

The minutes of the meeting with Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation (below), hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley, read: “If any site has information to show it has been charged more than the goodwill gesture we have paid, we would be prepared to look into individual cases. Peverel will continue to be open to look into any individual cases.”

Frustratingly, the 65 scammed sites are actually facing an open goal.

The OFT itself could not be clearer that if any site takes legal action against Peverel its report provides all the evidence required for proper compensation, rather than whatever Peverel wants to pay in “goodwill”.

An OFT letter to one Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation reader says: “Subject to the Decision not being successfully appealed, the OFT’s findings in respect of these 65 tenders can be relied upon by those people who consider that they have suffered loss as a result in ‘follow-on’ damages claims.”

Although it was suggested by Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation that Andy Davey, the head of Cirrus during some of the period when price-fixing took place, attend the meeting, he was not present. He is now “director of business excellence” for the Peverel group.

Although Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has long believed that 70 per cent of Peverel’s management business comes from the Tchenguiz Family Trust, its former owners, it was minuted and corrected by Peverel to read “around 50%”.



  1. Michael Hollands says

    Peverel will have to consider further compensation, or at least agree to an independent inquiry before they can be accepted as a full member of ARMA. ARMA ( Michelle Banks ) has already indicated that had Peverel Retirement been a member at the time of the guilty verdict they would have been expelled. ARMA , for the sake of their own reputation could not do anything else.
    Until this issue is satisfactorily settled it will always remain a stain on Peverels character, whatever they call themselves.

    • I Was checking some facts today and realised that on the 13/12/2013 the Guardian wrote a piece on Price Fixing the following day, that should be aired again regarding the people who Peverel Know and the OFT Know, but we do not Know who it was in both Peverel and Cirrus who conspired to cheat 65 Developments, possible over 2000 retired pensioners out of their pensions by:
      1. Informing the developments that Warden Call Systems/Fire Systems/Smoke Alarms, were OBSOLET when they were working OK, but slightly dated, and were reaching 20 years of age.Peverel Management Services Ltd had decided that they can readily make between 13 and 16 development per year, update systems that worked, giving them an income per year, of approx. 3000 Thousand Pounds Per Year, yes £300,000 per year, a ready home made market.
      2. By informing the developments that the systems were OBSOLETE they guaranteed work for Cirrus Communications of approx. 1.6 million pounds worth of work for the next 5 years.
      3. The OFT refused to name those who were responsible as it was Not In The Public Interest???

      The Guardian reported:-
      The Guardian is publishing a major report into the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal in tomorrow’s newspaper 14/12/2013.

      It is written by Patrick Collinson, the personal finance editor, and will appear on the front cover of the stand-alone Money section.

      It is understood that the report gives the background to the sham tendering that Peverel engaged in, and the disgraceful decision by the Office of Fair Trading to do a leniency deal with the company.

      The scandal inevitably raises questions over Andy Davey (above), former head of Cirrus, who is now Peverel’s director of business excellence.

      Everything about this OFT inquiry is scandalous. It is almost as serious as the cheating undertaken by Peverel.

      The OFT was either suckered into accepting a leniency deal with Peverel in December 2009, or complacently went along with the fiction that Peverel had somehow “turned itself in”.

      The demonstrable truth is that Peverel owned up to the practices because it had been rumbled.

      The Cirrus scam had even been outlined in the Times on December 4 2009.

      Then the inquiry only got underway in April 2011 – 16 months after Peverel supposedly turned itself in.

      When the OFT announced its findings last Friday, it declared that the stooge companies involved in the price fixing cartel would be fined £53,410.

      Chas Says:

      The OFT investigation cost £500,000 pounds and collected £1,777 in fines with Peverel/Cirrus having their wrist slapped and informed that they can Carry On.

      What a Farce, they could make a film about Carry On Peverel-Staring Andy Davey, Janet Entwistle, Chris Owens, Peter Whalley and the supporting cast of those who saw fit to rob and cheat Residential Pensioners who are a Easy Target as they bury their heads in the Gardens.

  2. Michael Epstein says

    Michael Hollands,
    The re-branding is more than a change of name. Brand new companies have been created. This means it would not be Peverel Retirement that will apply to ARHM, but FirstPort Retirement.
    The plan is to liquidate the Peverel companies after a convenient transfer to FirstPort.
    Thus, the sins of Peverel will be washed away.

    • Michael Hollands says

      The ARMA Q Charter covers the activities of its members employees, not just the company itself.
      So the name change will make little difference as Peverels current staff will remain.
      ARMA are not stupid.
      Until Peverel get it sorted their reputation will remain stained. How many years has it taken Skoda to get accepted.

    • Michael,

      The Peverel reputation has long been stained, it has the long list of cheated departed residents who have helped websites like Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation- Lkp- About Peverel- TTAS- Peverel Action who have spent their time when they should be enjoying retirement, instead they have to spend time attempting to uncover the Peverel Management Services Ltd (Peverel Retirement many scams that take money from the Service Charges for works that are not required but Boost the Fortunes of the worst Managing Agents that have been involved with Elderly Residents who are easily scammed due to their age and knowledge of the so called Peverel Group?

      When I asked for information on my friend Chris (Spin) Owens on Internet Explorer it brought up a heading which stated that Chris Owens was a Director of Customer Services?

      I understand from the letter where Chris Spin Owes replied to my MP, by SPINNING the facts again.

      The facts are we had already been chosen as one of the hundred developments that were to be Price Fixed as our Retirement Development was coming up to the 20 years of age, where we didn’t get the key to the door, instead we had been chosen as the next lucky development to have our Warden Call System replaced.

      Ashbrook Court was the next on the list it was 2006 and our development had reached its 20th Birthday.

      We were now Ripe for the STING as we were only Retired Pensioners, who show no interest in the Budget Figures, and we have Peverel Retirement to look after our interests???

      What Cirrus/Peverel/Jackson did not tell us was that this was the next stage of the STING.

      THE sting, like the other 65 plus Retirement Developments was by declaring the WCS as OBSOLETE, who was going to Challenge them???

      Just by stating that the Warden Call System was OBSOLETE was the First Part of the Sting.

      It cleared the way for the next part of the STING which was for Cirrus to price the replacement as they did.

      The Next Part of The STING was to provide 2 OPTIONS,

      2. UP-DATE costing £5500

      The Gods decide to hit Ashbrook Court with a Lightening Strike, this renders the WCS Damaged.

      It also gives Peverel the chance to Update the WCS as an Emergency so the S20 Notice is Ignored.

      Now Cirrus provides the cost of the Tender to Jackson who 10 days late puts in the late tender (which should have been disqualified) where they add 20% to each item and send in a Tender knowing that it will be £5,000 above the Cirrus Tender.

      As was usual, Cirrus is given the contract, but as the other Fixed Contracts had to be undertaken they ask Jackson the loosing Tender to undertake the work, but as Cirrus has won all the Price Fixed Contracts they can not undertake the works for over 8 months.

      So from the date of the Lightening Strike 20/06/2007 it took until the 01/04/2008 some 9 months for our WCS to be replaced.

      Norwich Union the Insurance Company then paid out 99% for the Up-Dated WCS which was deemed by our Area Manager Roger Cooper to be OBSOLETE??????????

      This reflects Cirrus/Peverel on how they operated, simply because the Elderly Residents were Easy Picking and Ripe for the Next Sting.

  3. Michael,
    Unlike Skoda, i see little prospect of VW taking over Peverel!
    Al it would take is for one of the 65 developments to take court action (even an individual resident recovering their losses at the small claims court) to open the floodgates.
    It really is an “open goal”. Peverel have already admitted the offence and admitted they can’t calculate the amount of the fraud. The first threat of legal action will treble the “goodwill payment”

    • Michael Hollands says

      If it is as easy as that to make them pay up then ARMA should be able to do it.
      No settlement then no ARMA Q.

  4. A Reviewer says


    Suing a dead duck simply puts money in the game keeper’s pockets.

    We need to make sure FirstPort does not get made a member of ARMA or anything else.

    Happy Thoughts

  5. Michael Epstein says

    It might be helpful if Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation could get a written assurance from Michelle Banks at ARMA that no Peverel offshoots ( be it a connected company or a new company) will be allowed to join ARMA (even as an affiliate) until those residents cheated in the collusive tendering fraud are fully compensated.
    It is to be hoped that Miss Banks realises that the admission to ARMA of any such company before the collusive tendering issue has been settled would fatally undermine the entire ARMA-Q process.

    • Michael Hollands says

      To her credit Michelle Banks the Chief Executive of ARMA has already stated this to some degree.
      In an e.mail dated 7 January 2015 she states the following.
      “If an ARMA member is suspected of having breached the ARMA bylaws, or other rules of membership, the matter will go before the Independent Regulator ( The Rt Hon Keith Hiil ) and the Regulatory Panel to ensure a disciplinary process.
      As regards the recently reported case ( Price Fixing ) we certainly do not condone the practice which led to the adverse ruling and our current membership rules would preclude them.
      We are encouraging the members of the Peverel Group to seek accreditation under the new regulatory scheme called ARMA Q. Under that regime the practices on which the OFT has ruled will be outlawed, and much greater transparency will help ensure that if they did occur they would be speedily detected.”
      So you can see that even under the old scheme had Peverel Retirement been a member they would have been expelled. The new scheme ARMA Q is much more stringent so it is most unlikely that membership will be gained without the Price Fixing issue being satisfactorily settled.
      I agree with you that Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation should get this confirmed again by ARMA to avoid any confusion or loss of memory

      • Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

        But can Peverel Retirement, or FirstPort (retirement housing branch) be admitted to ARMA-Q, its subsidiary Cirrus having been found to have systematically cheated pensions after a £500,000 OFT investigation 12 months ago?

        And if it is admitted, what would be the consequence of a complaint from a resident/s from a scammed site?

        Would the ARMA-Q regulator have “locus” (to use the term Michelle Banks adopted) over that matter as Cirrus is not a member and won’t be a part of the FirstPort group?

        Those in ARMA who are passionate about standards and loathe those playing the leasehold game – of which there are many – may feel it would be better for Peverel Retirement to stay within the trade body it primarily funds, the ARHM.

        • No change over Cirrus Retirement Scam, says Entwistle,

          Chas Says:

          Does this mean that the Scams are still being carried out?

          Seb Says:

          Although Peverel leaves an open goal for compo claims?

          Chas Says:

          Sebastian/Martin as you are aware I have emailed Janet Entwistle regarding the Price Fixing Scam at Ashbrook Court. The Director of Customer Services, Chris Owens waylays the emails and refuses to allow any further comments.

          The OFT in its report into Collusive Tendering, took from December 2009 until December 2013 to produce the Report. In The Report it explains the Model used by Cirrus/Peverel/Jackson to cheat us pensioner. Cirrus/Peverel/Jackson were involved in 37 Price Fixed Developments that they owned up too. It has been stated by Insiders that Peverel Group only admitted to 65 Developments, those being where the Area/Regional Managers had moved on?

          Seb Says:

          Janet Entwistle, the chief executive of Peverel (soon to be reborn as FirstPort), has ruled out mediation with retirement residents scammed in the Cirrus Collusive Tendering Scandal.

          Janet Says:

          Any “unhappy individuals” should make a complaint directly to her, she says in minutes of a meeting with Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation on October 10.

          Chas Says:

          This is not possible, as Chris Owens receives the complaint and either SPINS that Cirrus/Peverel/Jackson, did not Price Fix us at Ashbrook Court. Chris Owens refuses to provide the Contract or the Reports that deemed the Warden Call System was OBSOLETE.

          Seb Says:

          Having orchestrated a price-fixing racket for (Five Years) not four years (between 2005 and 2009), Peverel got off scot-free after the Office of Fair Trading gave it leniency accepting the preposterous fiction that Peverel had turned itself in rather than been rumbled.

          Chas Says:

          Was it not the Times Newspaper that rumbled them in September 2009, forcing the Peverel Group to OWN UP and contact the OFT in December 2009?

          Seb Says:

          Some 4 years later in December 2013 – when the OFT at last ruled that 65 retirement sites had been cheated, Peverel offered a “goodwill” payment of £100,000 to the affected sites.

          (The whole OFT inquiry cost £500,000 and resulted in one fine of £1,777 to Owens Installations, the smallest stooge in the scam.)

          Chas Says:

          If what Janet says is true, then set up a meeting with LKP, Myself/Representatives and Peverel?

          I have copies/records of the first meeting Feb 2007, when we were informed that the Warden Call System was supposed to be OBSOLETE. Plus other documents that were provided that proves that Cirrus/Peverel/Jackson colluded in the Tender Arrangements at Ashbrook Court.

      • Michael Epstein says

        Michelle Banks (to her discredit) has already allowed Freemont Property Services Ltd, headed up by Keith Edgar and Nigel Bannister (who were involved with Peverel during the collusive tendering scandal) to become affiliate members of ARMA.. It should be noted that a new company must have traded for 2 years before becoming a full member.

  6. Alex Ellison says

    In additional to the Cirrus matter, Michelle Banks is also aware of Peverel acquiring leases on a substantial number of house manager flats from the freeholder and then encouraging the leaseholders to change to a non-residential manager. For a non-negotiable donation of £10,000 to a development’s contingency fund, Peverel then becomes able to sell off the flats for a vast profit. I have written to Michelle Banks asking that until Peverel is willing to provide leaseholders with answers about this very serious matter there should be no prospect of it ever becoming a member of ARMA.

  7. Michael Epstein says

    I understand that senior members of RBS have been made aware of possible overvalued assets that have been secured against loans and to a possible doubt over legal title over some of the pledged assets.
    I am reasonably confident that in the near future details will emerge of a court case that shows a particular managing agent ‘s claims to have owned the freehold of attached land were not proved to be correct.

  8. Michael Hollands says

    I have a dream that one day the price fixing issue and sale of managers flats will be sorted
    I have a dream that one day Peverel will join ARMA Q and conform to their Charter.
    I have a dream that one day Peverel leaseholders will join hand in hand in celebration with their managers.
    I have a dream that one day the residents will lead the stress free life they thought they bought into.
    I have a dream that one day from Albany Court Torbay to Clachnahanny Court Inverness there will be much rejoicing.
    Please don’t spoil it by waking me up

  9. Michael, I will not wake you from your dream, but will say that this is a lovely version of Dr Kings wonderful speech.

    The nightmare which is Peverel Management Services (Peverel Retirement) is in fact true and it effects thousands of Elderly Pensioners during the waking hours, who are easy targets for the likes of Peverel Group who see us as Easy Pickings and Ripe for the Peverel Sting.

    We have some excellent MP who support us, but what about the others, who refuse to get involved as they have their fingers in the Leaseholders Till.

    I again thank those MPs who have supported us.

  10. Edith Davis says

    I noted earlier in your Newsletter, that Janet Entwhistle says that if any Leaseholder wanted to complain they could write to her. We have tried that and come up against Chris Owens.
    Have you ever tried to get a reply from any senior staff, such as Regional Managers and Keith Barr, head of Accounts. Still awaiting a reply from January 2013. We told him that we would be happy to see him in Court following the illegal transfer of a large surplus to the contingency fund. We took ours back the following year by subtracting it from a large deficit, This was followed by charging us late payment fees of £80.
    We said we would take it to the media if they continued to threaten us. It worked. Just stand up to the crooks! Most elderly people are too easily bullied in this cruel way.
    We should not have to spend our retirement in a constant battle like that, My husband is 90, I am 86 but we refuse to take it lying down!
    Our previous management,s staff were sticklers for The Lease compliance; but then, it was a registered Housing Association

    • Michael Epstein says

      Oddly, Miss Entwistle who champions the use of mediation, refuses to use mediation to resolve the Cirrus/Peverel price fixing fraud. Assuming Miss Entwistle did respond to a leaseholder complaint, that would mean that the leaseholder would not have gone through Peverel’s complaints procedure, and thus that would rule out a referral to the property ombudsman.
      Even if a leaseholder did use the ombudsman service there is no guarantee that their case would not be dealt with by a former deputy to Chris Owens.
      A slight correction, Edith, one of the people you mentioned is actually Kevin Barr, who is currently a director with Freemont Property Services (alongside Keith Edgar and Nigel Bannister)
      As you will be aware Keith Edgar and Nigel Bannister were directors of Peverel Group companies during the price fixing fraud era.

    • Edith,

      Chris Owens is paid to deflect away from Janet any questions regarding, cheating, lying, price fixing, poor management, failures of record keeping, and any one who questions the right of Peverel Group to behave as they see fit as they are the Masters and Leaseholders the Servants so they do what they please.

  11. Edith Davis,

    I commend you for your stand against the Peverel Scams and that the grapevine has stated that Janet has been side-lined due to her unwanted comments, when challenged regarding, Excessive Commissions.

    Our residents have an average age of over 80 and show little of your fight to correct wrong. I do not blame them for wanting a quite life and respect that they will not get involved.

    What I have to convince the residents is that I have undertook homework over the past 5 years and I am just waiting for the final piece of the jigsaw.

    The bulling of the residents is very subtle and constant as it undermines the facts and fails to correct the disinformation provided by Peverel Senior Management especially Chris Owens who has an MBA and is brilliant at his job of spinning facts. He make us the residents the problem, not the cheaters that were Peverel/Cirrus.

    How did you stand up to the crooks and what did you have to do, ask Sebastian for my email and I will support you if you require?

    I believe that Keith Barr has left Peverel and joined another small company along with 3 other previous directors of Peverel who may be waiting for the final collapse of the once mighty respected Peverel, circa 2002.