The FSA has fined former Montpelier Pension Administration Services finance director Graeham Sampson £17,850 over failures to ensure the Sipp provider was meeting capital requirements.
Sampson was most recently Tenet Group finance director but resigned from the firm in September. Tenet is currently looking for a replacement.
Montpelier operated Sipp schemes with approximately 1,400 members in total.
The FSA says Sampson failed to understand or ensure Montpelier was meeting its regulatory capital requirements; failed to adequately monitor Montpelier’s liquid capital; and failed to correctly report the firm’s liquid capital position to the FSA.
The regulator says as a result of Sampson’s “carelessness”, Montpelier’s regulatory returns were wrong and no one at the firm knew the Sipp provider had been operating in breach of its regulatory capital requirements for approximately 15 months.
While no actual consumer detriment occurred, the FSA says Sampson exposed Montpelier to the risk of being unable to fulfil its financial obligations in the event the firm was wound up.
FSA head of retail enforcement Bill Sillett says: “The fine against Sampson sends out a strong message to others who exercise significant influence functions at Sipp operators of the need to ensure that they hold adequate capital and regularly monitor the position. In the event that Montpelier was wound up, its regulatory capital deficit could have led to serious detriment to Sipp members”.
Sampson voluntarily stepped down as an approved person at Montpelier in May 2011, and the company’s authorisation was cancelled in October 2011.