The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has barred Montpelier Pension Administration Services’ (MPAS) managing director Kevin Wells, from performing any important function at any regulated company, and also censured him.
It slammed Wells for failings, including putting client money at risk by violating FCA rules, failing to check and watch third parties, for instance the IFAs and fund managers with which MPAS dealt and lacked necessary knowledge of the assets.
The UK market regulatory agency would have imposed a penalty of £58,500, but it pardoned the accused after realizing that the fine would cause serious financial adversity for him.
During the course of probe, FCA also found that Wells lacked adequate understanding of the SIPP operator’s regulated activities and equivalent regulatory responsibilities or his own accountability as the managing director of the firm.
Without paying attention for the interest of MPAS SIPPs and SIPP members, the accused carried out a rapid expansion of the business, and subsequently exposed customers and MPAS itself to a significant level of risk, claims the UK watchdog.
In October 2012, the FSA published proposals underlining how much capital SIPP administrators must hold in future to assist in protecting consumers in case the operator has to be wound down.