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FCA fines five directors over pension transfer failures

The FCA has fined five directors over failings in their pension transfer business.

The regulator says three firms acted “without integrity” and mislead the FCA over their conduct.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has had to pay out close to £30m to affected customers whose money ended up in high-risk investments.

Notices have been issued to now-liquidated firms Financial Page Ltd and Henderson Carter Associates, and their directors Andrew Page, Thomas Ward and Aiden Henderson.

The FCA has levied penalties of £321,033 for Page, £416,558 for Ward and £179,179 for Henderson.

Cheltenham-based Bank House Investment Management was issued a penalty fine of £311,639 while its directors Robert Ward and Tristan Freer were also banned and issued penalties of £88,100 and £52,725 respectively.

All five directors and Bank House have referred their decision notices to the Upper Tribunal which will determine the FCA’s actions.

The regulator says the three firms had “little meaningful oversight and involvement” in the advice provided to customers under their names.

FCA considers disclosing more information on ongoing investigations

They also outsourced parts of their pension review and advice processes to unauthorised third parties.

The FCA says: “HCA, FPL and Bank House held themselves out to customers as providing bespoke independent investment advice based on a  comprehensive and fair analysis of the hole market, but that did not reflect the reality of the service that was provided.

“In reality, customers were recommended pension switches and pension transfers to products that invested in high risk, illiquid assets which were unlikely to be suitable for them.”

A total 2,004 customers invested around £76m in pension assets with the firms.

The FSCS has compensated 1,104 customers a total of £26.8m so far.

Investor blames FCA for losses after mini-bond firm collapse

All five directors should have known the products recommended to their customers were not suitable, the FCA adds.

“They acted recklessly in closing their minds to the obvious risks. They were all approved persons in a controlled function at their firms and so should have known that by using the pension review and advice process, they were acting recklessly.”

All directors were also flagged as having provided false or misleading information to the FCA.

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Comments

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

  1. £76 million taken from 2004 clients
    Again all done by just a hand full of people …

    It would be nice to know MM over what timescale ….
    I am sure the RMAR’s would have told a story if someone had bothered to do their job ?

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