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Ucis failings land three directors with FSA fines

The FSA has fined two directors and one managing director for failures over the promotion of unregulated collective investment schemes and pension switching advice.

Anthony Smith and Timothy Langman from Perspective Financial Management, a firm based in Milton Keynes, have been fined £16,000 and £10,500 respectively.
They have both been banned from any senior management role in relation to Ucis and from advising on Ucis.

The FSA also fined PFM £49,000 in February for shortcomings in the way that it monitored pension switching advice.

The FSA found that Smith, who was responsible for compliance, failed to put in place adequate systems and controls to ensure the suitability of Ucis and pension switching advice.

Smith also failed to ensure its systems and controls and procedures were reviewed and updated after concerns by an external compliance consultant, failed to monitor the compliance function delegated to a manager and failed to take steps to sufficiently understand the regulator’s requirements around the promotion of Ucis.

The FSA found that Langman, who was responsible for training and competence, failed to adequately address concerns by two sets of compliance consultants about the competency of two of the firm’s advisers.

Langman also failed to take steps to ensure that he and the advisers for whose training he was responsible understood the regulatory requirements around Ucis.
In a separate case, the FSA also fined Specialist managing director Ian Jones £16,000 and banned him from any senior management role in relation to Ucis. He has also been banned from advising on Ucis.

Specialist was fined £35,000 in April for failing to assess whether customers were eligible to receive Ucis promotions and for failing to ensure customers were given suitable advice to invest in them.

The firm promoted Ucis to 101 retail customers in a way that was found to have breached regulatory rules. In nearly half of the 20 files reviewed, the advice given to customers was claimed unsuitable.

FSA head of retail enforcement Tom Spender says: “Both firms have already been punished but as we saw serious failings in the actions of the directors, it is only appropriate they are punished as well.”

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