Topic: Failure to satisfy the Suitability Threshold Condition
Subject of Enforcement: Cavendish Incorporated Limited
Date of Notice: 2 August 2021
Overview: Since March 2021, the Authority has received reports from eight consumers claiming to have invested substantial funds in bonds or loan notes issued by Cavendish or through its former appointed representative (“AR”), Cottesmore Associates Limited (“Cottesmore”). Based on these reports, it appears Cavendish and Cottesmore provided consumers with misleading information about the extent of protection available under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) for these investments and on the permitted scope of their regulated activities. These misleading statements were likely designed to increase consumer trust in Cavendish and Cottesmore, and to influence investment decisions. b) It appears Cavendish and Cottesmore have carried out investment related activities with consumers. Neither Cavendish nor Cottesmore are permitted by the Authority to provide regulated investment services.
Cavendish has also failed to provide the Authority with correct and up-to date details for its Financial Services Register records held by the Authority. There are inconsistencies relating to Cavendish’s contact details as recorded on Companies House and the Financial Services Register.
The Authority is also unclear on the identity of Cavendish’s director. Cavendish’s website includes information on Cavendish’s director but the details disclosed are inconsistent with those supplied in the CV that was submitted to the Authority in support of her application for approval.
Penalty. Regulated activities suspended
Topic: Failing to demonstrate that suitable advice was given in the investment adviser and pensions sector.
Subject of Enforcement: Geoffrey Edward Armin
Date of Notice: 9th August 2021
Overview: Geoffrey Edward Armin was the sole person at RPPS approved by the Authority to perform the controlled functions of CF1 (Director), CF10 (Compliance Oversight), CF11 (Money Laundering Reporting) and CF30 (Customer). Following the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. The controlled functions Mr Armin was approved to perform were replaced by senior manager functions. As a result, from 9 December 2019, Mr Armin was approved to perform the SMF3 (Executive Director), SMF 16 (Compliance Oversight) and SMF17 (Money Laundering Reporting Officer) senior manager functions.
RPPS is a small firm which, during the Relevant Period, was authorised by the Authority to advise on pension transfers and pension opt outs and to arrange (bring about) deals in investments. Mr Armin was the only Pension Transfer Specialist at RPPS and solely responsible for advising customers on Pension Transfers.
Mr Armin failed to obtain information that was necessary to assessing whether a Pension Transfer was suitable for a customer. In addition, he largely disregarded vital information about customers which was necessary to assess whether it was suitable for them to transfer their pension, such as: (a) their financial situation.
(b) their income needs throughout retirement; and
(c) how the customer’s existing pension benefits compared to the proposed alternative pension.
Penalty: Financial penalty of £1,284,523