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Friendly society is fined £100,000 for string of pension review failings

The PIA has imposed a £100,000 fine on the National Deposit Friendly Society for pension review failings.

The friendly society, based in Clifton, has been ordered to pay costs of £6,720 resulting from regulatory visits in February and December 1999.

The regulator discovered a number of failings during the visits. These included not monitoring its staff adequately between 1994 and 1998, not assessing its starting population accurately, not supervising staff conduct of the pension review, not prioritising its review cases, not excluding cases correctly, not closing correctly at least 142 cases, not keeping in contact with investors who had moved, not finishing phase one of the review on schedule and failing to conduct a significant number of compliance assessments.

The PIA points out that while the friendly society&#39s failings are lengthy and serious, it has taken steps to remedy them.

So far this year, nine companies have had action taken against them for pension review failings, incurring a total of £977,000 in fines. The biggest fine to date was £600,000 handed out to Sun Life of Canada in 1998.

National Deposit Friendly Society compliance officer Alan Gladhill says: “The society accepts that there have been pension review failings in the past.

“Steps have since been taken and we are confident no investor will suffer a loss as a result.”

l IFA network Interdepen-dence, of AMC House, Chan-try Street, Andover, Hamp- shire, has been fined £35,000 by the PIA and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 for failure to remedy rule breaches identified by the PIA in visits in July and August 1997.

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