The FCA has published a final notice banning Omar Hussein, former director at pension switching firm Consumer Wealth Ltd, from working in financial services. Mr Hussein has also been fined £116,000 for providing reckless and unsuitable pension switching advice.
The FCA found that Mr Hussein advised 620 customers to switch their pensions into a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) when this was often not in their best interests. Despite being aware of the FCA’s pensions alerts, which reminded advisers that they must assess the suitability of the underlying investments to be held in a SIPP, Mr Hussein ignored these alerts. The underlying investments in this case comprised unregulated mini-bonds relating to overseas investments which were highlight likely to be unsuitable for the firm’s financially inexperienced retail customers. The FCA found that Mr Hussein’s misconduct put c.£13.5m of his customers’ retirement savings at risk.