A complainant says confusion over the listing of a company’s former trading name on the FCA and the Gibraltarian regulators’ registers means they are unable to seek compensation for a £100,000 loss.
In a final report, Complaints Commissioner Antony Townsend said he would not uphold the claim that listing former trading names is what prevented the complainant from seeking redress however.
The complainant says they lost £100,000 through a Qrops pension transfer conducted by Firm X. They believed Firm X to be an FCA-approved company registered through Company Y.
They have been unable to claim against now-dissolved Firm X for their pension transfer loss with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Townsend says the complainant believes they are unable to make a claim to the FSCS because Firm X appears on FCA’s register as a former trading arm of Company Y, rather than as a dissolved firm.
However, no business was conducted from Firm X through Company Y, which operates in the UK under European passporting laws and is regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.
The GFSC asked the FCA to register the name of Firm X as a UK trading name of Company Y in 2017. In 2018, the GFSC then asked the FCA to remove name X.
The FCA did so and confirmed name X is now listed on its register as one of a number of former trading names for Company Y.
Townsend says: “The FCA has followed the EEA passporting rules and will not remove the reference to name X as a former trading name of Company Y.”
While the FCA is “factually correct” about the registration of name X, Townsend says the GFSC incorrectly informed the complainant that name X was never registered by Company Y in Gibraltar.
He says: “I appreciate this creates a confusing picture [and] it is important to consider whether the continued presence of the trading name on the register, even though clearly shown as a former trading name, is a real source of continuing risk, or indeed whether its continued presence could be helpful to other consumers.”
The FCA says removing the name from the historic trading records for Company Y would not afford consumers any additional protection.
It is also within its currently policy to keep all prior trading names public.
Townsend adds: “[The complainant] believes that if the name X was removed as a former trading name of Company Y, they could make a claim against the dissolved Firm X with the FSCS. It is their view that it has prevented them from the claim.
“The complainant was informed by the FCA that because the firm was not authorised at the time of the pension advice, it did not consider claims through the FSCS.
“The continuing presence of the historic name X on the register is therefore unlikely to affect decision making a claim.”