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FSCS declares troubled pension transfer advice firms in default

FSCS declares troubled pension transfer advice firms in default

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared 19 advice firms in default in March, with at least 12 likely to fall into the investment or life and pension categories funded by advisers. 

The firms declared in default last month include two which were asked to stop pension switching and transfer business by the regulator last year.

New Model Adviser® revealed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) asked three firms to stop all pension switching or transfer business.

All three advice firms had links to lead generator Hennessy Jones.

On the FSCS list released today are two of these three firms - Shropshire-based Financial Page and Merseyside-based Henderson Carter Associates. 

Henderson Carter fell into administration last February. In its administration report, filed last September, administrators Antony Batty and Company said the advice firm was still the subject of an FCA investigation. The outcome of this investigation has not been released.

The report also said Henderson Carter had 66 claims against it, ‘in connection with possible losses suffered by investors’ and will enter assessment by the FSCS.

The client bank of Henderson Carter was sold last summer, with the approval of the FCA, to appointed representative of St James's Place (SJP) PFP Wealth for £36,000.

An administrator was appointed to Financial Page in July 2016.

According to an amended administrator’s report, Financial Page ‘encountered initial problems in mid-2015’ after the firm came to an agreement with the FCA to restrict its business.

These agreed restrictions with the FCA meant Financial Page could not ‘carry on any on any activities in relation to pension switches and/or pension transfers to any self-invested personal pension scheme’. The firm also had to ‘terminate’ its relationship with Hennessy Jones under the FCA agreement.

The client bank of Financial Page was valued at £95,000 and has been marketed with interested IFAs ‘to enable an alternative IFA to be recommended to the company’s clients for re-advice/re-investment purposes’. The client bank has also been marketed for ‘claims purposes’.

The latest report said this work is ongoing and did not say if buyers had been found for the client banks.

Other firms declared in default in March include Leeds-based advice firm Vanguard Wealth Management, and Colchester-based Cavendish Financial Planning. 

The full list will appear on the FSCS website later today. 

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