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Sole trader banned for transfer failings

The FSA has banned sole tra- der Darrell Mark Eaden from being a senior manager after he failed to effectively monitor his pension transfer specialist, exposing customers to the risk of receiving unsuitable advice.

Eaden, who used to trade as Liberty Financial Consultants, specialised in mortgages and investments.

The FSA says between May 2004 and March 2005, Eaden did not exercise due skill, care and diligence in managing the business of Liberty.

It says Eaden failed to maintain an appropriate level of understanding of pension transfers and to adequately supervise and monitor the firm’s pension trans- fer specialist.

The regulator says he did not take reasonable steps to ensure that Liberty’s pension transfer business was organised so that it could be controlled effectively. He also failed to ensure that Liberty’s pension transfer business complied with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system.

FSA head of retail enforcement Jonathan Phelan says: “Firms must have in place and operate effective systems to ensure that suitable advice is given to customers. This is a key part of treating customers fairly. Mr Eaden was responsible for ensuring that Liberty’s pension transfer specialist was effectively monitored but he fell a long way short of achieving this.

“Our action should leave firms in no doubt that the FSA places great emphasis on the importance of adequate systems and controls. Individuals responsible for these systems and controls will be held accountable if they are not adequate.”

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