The Financial Conduct Authority has banned Mark Kelly and Patrick Gray from working in the financial services industry on the basis that they lack integrity.
Mr Kelly provided financial services to UK customers under the name PCD Wealth and Pensions Management (PCD) and Mr Gray was one of his advisers. Between 2008 and 2010 PCD arranged for over 350 customers to be advised and invested nearly £24 million of customers’ funds in potentially unsuitable investments. PCD also failed to declare to customers the fees it was receiving from a number of these investments.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said:
“These two individuals misused pension funds, endangering the retirement incomes of hundreds of people. While further investigations continue, the FCA considers it necessary to prohibit them to help protect consumers.”
Between August 2008 and July 2010 Mr Kelly invested customers’ pension funds in risky investments without customers’ knowledge or consent. The process was designed to prevent customers from discovering where their funds had been invested and without any regard to the suitability of the investments for the customers.
Mr Kelly also received some money from product providers taken directly out of customers’ investments, without their knowledge. He arranged for this to be paid directly into a bank account in his name.
Mr Gray provided investment advice to at least five customers in the knowledge that he had no qualifications or training to do so. In one case he gave unsuitable advice to a customer to invest in an unregulated collective investment scheme (UCIS).
Mr Gray also recklessly provided customers with misleading information in relation to costs and charges and arranged for customers to sign incomplete investment forms despite being aware of the risk that fees could later be added to the forms (and taken from customers’ funds) without their knowledge.
In addition Mr Gray gave customers pension reports containing false and misleading assurances that they would receive advice on their investments even though, from October 2009, Mr Gray knew that funds were being invested without their consent or knowledge. He also misled the FCA in a compelled interview.
The FCA cannot fine either individual because they were not approved persons at the time of the misconduct. The FCA understands that further investigations are continuing.
Notes for editors
- The Final Notice for Mark Kelly
- The Final Notice for Patrick Gray
- On 1 April 2013 the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
- The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers
- Find out more information about the FCA