The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has imposed a £17,850 fine on Graeham Sampson, the former finance director of Montpelier Pension Administration Services.
Montpelier Pension Administration Services operated two Sipp schemes with approximately 1,400 members in total.
The FSA said that Sampson failed to ensure the firm met its regulatory capital requirements, to monitor adequately its liquid capital, and to report correctly the firm’s liquid capital position to the regulator.
As a result of Sampson’s failures, Montpelier Pension Administration Services's regulatory returns were wrong and no one at the firm knew that the firm had operating outside the capital adequacy requirements for about 15 months.
No actual consumer detriment occurred but the FSA said that Sampson exposed Montpelier Pension Administration Services to the risk of being unable to fulfil its financial obligations in the event that the firm was wound up.
Bill Sillett, head of retail enforcement, said: ‘The fine against Sampson sends out a strong message to others who exercise significant influence functions at Sipp operators of the need to ensure that they hold adequate capital and regularly monitor the position.
‘In the event that [Montpelier Pension Administration Services] was wound up, its regulatory capital deficit could have led to serious detriment to Sipp members,’ he said.
Sampson voluntarily stepped down as an approved person at the Leicester-based firm in May 2011, and the firm’s authorisation was cancelled in October 2011.