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Read fined £150k over pension unlocking

The FSA has fined Read Independent Financial Advisers £150,000 over advice on unlocking pensions.

The regulator says there were serious defects in Read’s sales process, inadequate familiarity with regulatory requirements and failure to include adequate risk warnings in its financial promotions.

These breaches potentially affected 1,100 consumers between September 2000 and January 2003.

The FSA says it has been looking closely at the way in which a number of financial advisers have failed to act in the best interests of consumers when advising on pension unlocking.

Director of enforcement Andrew Proctor says: “Read did not find out enough about its customers’ financial circumstances or needs to be sure that it was recommending a suitable product to vulnerable consumers, many of whom were nearing retirement age.

“It also failed to ensure that it explored other options with its customers so that it could be sure that pension unlocking was the best available choice.”

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