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Financial Ltd subject to FCA investigation over pension transfers

Adviser network Financial Ltd is under investigation by the FCA over pension transfers, according to it most recent accounts.

The firm’s auditors, Nexia Smith and Williamson, say the investigation creates the “existence of a material uncertainty which may cause significant doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

In its annual report for 2013, the 450-member network says: “The regulatory requirements governing the adviser network business receives significant attention within the pensions transfer market. The company’s compliance with these regulations is subject to a process of ongoing review and appraisal by both the directors and its regulator, the FCA.

“The company’s regulator has notified the company that it is undertaking adviser control investigations. At this stage whether this indicates the provision of unsuitable advice, existence of control weaknesses and or the requirement for any potential redress remains uncertain. The directors are mindful of their responsibilities and are co-operating fully with this on-going investigation.

“The financial effect of this investigation has not been disclosed on the basis that the outcomes are so wide ranging that it would not be practicable to provide a reliable estimate of the potential liability, if any, arising.”

The firm’s most recent accounts to the end of March 2013 show a £58,808 loss, down from its pre-tax profit of £108,378 the previous year. 

It made a complaints provision totalling £5.7m for 2013, up 23 per cent from £4.6m in 2012. 

The report is that of Standard Financial Group Plc holding company. The subsidiary firms are Financial Ltd, IFA Compliance Ltd, Dominico Ltd, Investments Ltd and Financial Protection Network Ltd. 

The group is owned by Charlie Palmer, fined in 2010 by the FSA for management failing which resulted in poor compliance on pensions switching advice.

Head of quality assurance Steve Eastment left the business in August 2013.  

Financial Ltd declined to comment. 

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Another mess to hit the FSCS which we will now have to pay for. Its okay though because those responsible, both management and advisers will just start up somewhere else with a nice clean slate.

  2. Soren Lorenson 13th June 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Charlie Palmer has made a point of being publicly and fiercely critical of the regulator. They don’t like that much do they.

  3. Samuel Lewis Mayes 16th June 2014 at 8:40 am

    It would be interesting to see what specific area of the pension transfer process is being investigated…

  4. Jonathan Kirby 16th June 2014 at 9:39 am

    @ Samuel Lewis Mayes
    There is no specific area but all files have been looked at with a view to ensuring that the COBS 2.1.1 ‘Client’s Best Interest’ rule is apparent.

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