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Admin firm Liberata fined for failing policyholders

The FSA has imposed a fine of £525,000 on third-party life and pension admin firm Liberata Financial Services for exposing policyholders to unacceptable risks through systems and control failures.

The regulator says that Liberata’s failings meant there was an unacceptable risk that its 1.3 million pol- icyholders would not rec- eive important financial information to help with their investment decisions.

The failures resulted in 30,000 policyholders not receiving information about their policies, with 161 suffering financial loss which amounted to £17,584.

The FSA says the firm acted recklessly in failing to heed warnings in its management information that documents were not being produced.

Liberata says it has made changes to senior management and appointed external consultants to help review its document production system, analyse the potential impact on policyholders and ensure that all appropriate documents have now been provided to policyholders.

Liberata agreed to settle at an early stage of the FSA’s investigation and qualified for a 30 per cent discount to the fine. Without the discount, the fine would have been £750,000.

The firm provides a range of services in the life and pension sector, including policy and customer services administration, investment fund administration, unit pricing and finance and statutory reporting and valuations.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole says: “The failings by Liberata were particularly serious because they put policyholders at risk of not receiving important information about their savings and pensions.

“This resulted in customers not being treated fairly. The fine we have imposed on Liberata acts as a clear signal to firms to ensure that there are appropriate systems and controls around processes.”

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