FCA bans and fines director £166k over poor Sipp advice

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A former director of an advice firm which recommended clients invest £112m in unregulated Sipp investments has been fined £165,900 and banned from senior roles in financial services.

The FCA says former TailorMade Independent director Robert Shaw failed to check the suitability of Sipp investments and also failed to manage conflicts of interests.

TailorMade was a distributor for overseas property firm Harlequin, which is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

Between 2010 and 2013 TailorMade advised 1,661 customers to invest £112.4m in unregulated investments such as green oil, biofuels, farmland via Sipps.

The FCA found that Shaw benefitted financially from being the director and shareholder of TailorMade Alternative Investments, an unregulated introducer which referred clients to Tailor Made Independent.

Shaw received payments for introducing clients to TailorMade Independent but failed to disclose this to investors, despite being warned by compliance consultants to do so.

FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “Robert Shaw exposed customers to risky investments without considering if these products would meet their needs.

“He personally benefitted from sales of these products without revealing to customers the full extent of the benefits he received. His actions mean many customers faced losing all of their hard earned pension funds. This is not the conduct we expect of senior individuals.”

TailorMade is now in liquidation and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is investigating claims brought by TailorMade Independent clients.

Former TailorMade Independent directors Lloyd Pope and Peter Legerton were fined by the FCA in March, with Pope also fined £93,800.