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FCA bans adviser in regard to DB pensions transfers

He had advised 422 customers, 183 were BSPS members


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Geoffrey Armin from advising customers on pension transfers and pension opt out, as well as holding any senior management function in a regulated firm.

Armin will also have to pay £200,000 to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to contribute to redress due to his customers.

The FCA found that while running the now dissolved Retirement and Pension Planning Services Limited, was seriously incompetent when advising on defined benefit (DB) pensions transfers.

He had advised 422 customers on the transfer of their DB pensions which included 183 members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), 174 of whom transferred out of the scheme following Armin’s recommendation.

To read more on this topic, visit: FCA bans adviser for failures in advice given to BSPS members

These fees added to £2.2m for all DB transfer advice, 55% (approximately £1.2m) of which was retained by Armin and the firm.

The regulator reported that Armin repeatedly failed to obtain the necessary information he needed to assess the suitability of a pension transfer and provided unsuitable advice as a result.

In some cases, Armin only informed customers of the consequences of giving up the valuable guaranteed benefits offered by their DB pension after they had already transferred out of the scheme.

To date, the FSCS has paid out £3,961,517 in compensation to Armin’s customers.

Theres Chambers joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Armin gave bad advice and pocketed large fees for doing so. People rely on the advice they’re given for financial security into old age. Armin’s advice not only put at risk the pensions people had worked for, it also eroded the trust between advisers and clients. Such callous incompetence has no place in financial services.”


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