FCA fines adviser for pension transfer advice failings

The FCA has published a Decision Notice against Geoffrey Edward Armin of Retirement and Pension Planning Services Limited (in liquidation). The FCA has decided to fine Mr Armin £1,284,523 and ban him from performing any senior management function in relation to any regulated activities carried on by an authorised firm, exempt person or exempt professional firm. The FCA has also banned Mr Armin from advising consumers on pension transfers and pension opt outs.

Mr Armin advised 422 customers on the transfer of their defined benefit pensions into alternative pension arrangements, including 183 members of the British Steel Pensions Scheme (174 transferred out of the scheme following Mr Armin’s recommendation). The FCA found Mr Armin had breached Principles 2 and 7 by failing to obtain the necessary information required to assess the suitability of a pension transfer for a customer, and disregarding information including customers’ financial situation, income needs throughout retirement, and how their existing pension benefits compared to the proposed alternative.

Mr Armin has referred the Decision Notice to the Upper Tribunal and so the FCA’s findings are currently provisional.

Lucy Hadrill