Keith Dickinson and Andrew Allen of Mansion Park Limited (in liquidation) have been banned from advising customers on pension transfers and pension opt-outs.
The FCA found that between June 2015 and December 2017, Mr Dickinson provided pension transfer advice, which Mr Allen signed off, that was unsuitable.
Mr Dickinson and Mr Allen will pay £70,000 and £85,606, respectively, to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to contribute towards the compensation owed to Mansion Park’s customers.
The FSCS has so far paid out almost £3 million in compensation to Mansion Park customers for the unsuitable advice they received, including over £2 million for advice provided by Mr Dickinson.
400 Mansion Park customers were advised to transfer out of their defined benefits transfer scheme. Mr Dickinson advised 135 of them, including 68 members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). In total, those advised by Mr Dickinson had pension benefits worth approximately £36.8 million.
Mr Allen demonstrated a lack of competence in his oversight of advice for 328 (82%) of those 400 Mansion Park customers, including 72 who were BSPS members.
Customers transferring out of the BSPS were in a vulnerable position due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of their pension scheme. It was critical they received sound advice from Mansion Park.
In most of the advice Mr Dickinson provided and the files Mr Allen signed off, the advice was unsuitable because it was based on the flawed assumption that transferring would be in their customer’s best interest. The advice provided did not assess whether customers were relying on income from their defined benefit pension scheme in retirement, whether the customer understood the risks of transferring out or whether they could bear those financial risks.
Therese Chambers, joint Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight said: 'People turned to Mansion Park to give them vital advice so they’d have financial peace of mind in retirement. Both Mr Dickinson and Mr Allen failed to do their job. They put people’s hard earned retirement money at risk and so it is only right that they contribute to the costs of compensating these people.
'We will continue to take action where failings by advisers put their customers at risk.'
Any customers who were advised to transfer by Mansion Park should contact the FSCS to see if they are owed compensation.