FIN.

FCA takes action on pensions advisers lacking integrity

FCA has published decision notices against three firms and five individuals, setting out its decision to find them for acting without integrity in pensions advisory businesses and misleading FCA. The individuals have all referred their cases to the Tribunal.  Two of the entities (Financial Page Ltd and Henderson Carter Associates Limited) are in liquidation and therefor a public censure has been imposed.  Bank House Investment Management Limited has been fined £311,000.

In respect of the individuals, FCA has decided to ban each individual and fine them:

  • £321,000 on a director of FPL;
  • £416,000 on an unapproved de facto director of FPL;
  • £179,000 on a director of HCA;
  • £88,000 and £52,000 respectively on directors of BHIM.

FCA found the firms did not apply meaningful oversight to advice they provided, and outsourced important functions to unauthorised third parties. The services provided by the firms were not, as they claimed, based on whole-of-market advice, but instead recommended transfers and switches into almost certainly unsuitable assets. The directors should have known this, but recklessly closed their minds to the risks. They also all provided false or misleading information to FCA at least once, while Thomas Ward, the de facto director, not only should have been an approved person but also took deliberate steps to influence the evidence the firm sent to FCA and encouraged his fellow director to withhold information.

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Emma Radmore