View more on these topics

FCA fines compliance officer £75k for pension transfer failings

The FCA has fined compliance oversight officer David Watters £75,000 for putting clients at risk of unsuitable pension transfer advice.

The regulator says David Watters failed to exercise due skill, care and diligence his role at FGS McClure Watters and Lanyon Astor Buller.

The FGS business was transferred to Laynon Astor Buller in 2008, and is no longer authorised.

Around 500 clients across both advice firms transferred from their defined benefit pension to a defined contribution scheme, with a combined value of around £12.7m.

The FCA says Watters failed to ensure the advice process relating to enhanced transfer value exercises was adequate. It says this put clients at “serious risk” of receiving unsuitable advice to transfer.

The regulator says Watters failed to consider whether the advice process was compliant, did not have a sufficient understanding of the regulations, and did not get an appropriate third party to review the pension transfer process.

He also failed to ensure advisers were properly monitored.

Lanyon Astor Buller will contact affected clients and pay redress where appropriate.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward says: “It was Mr Watters’ responsibility to take reasonable steps to put in place a compliant advice process.  His failure to do this placed customers at risk of needlessly losing valuable benefits for their retirement.”


uk equities

Who is the firm behind Selectapension’s DB transfer suspension?

The number of casualties from the regulator’s action on defined benefit transfers has started to stack up. Last week it emerged Financial Services Midhurst entered a voluntary agreement with the FCA to cease its pension transfer business. It represents the fourth firm to have acknowledged the impact of the FCA’s review on their business, the others being […]

Rees-Mogg’s fund manager interests in spotlight ahead of Treasury Committee vote

MPs are expected to decide today who will take over the influential role of chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, prompting transparency campaigners to highlight the need for completely independent oversight of the financial services sector. Jacob Rees-Mogg, founding partner of Somerset Capital Management, who has been a TSC member since 2015, has faced questions […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. An average transfer value of £25,400? Wonder what was charged for this advice.

  2. On reading this, many Compliance Officers all over the UK will, or certainly should, be considering the seriousness of the responsibility they carry. Compliance has often been a re-active role but will have to start to move to a more pro-active stance. Or else!

    • Indeed, many do not seem to realise that they are responsible if they do not stop people from doing that which they shouldn’t.

      Personally I take my role very seriously indeed. I just wish all the advisers did…

Leave a comment