Berkeley Jacobs, part of the 80m euro Dublin-listed IFG Group, has been hit with a £175,000 regulatory fine for misleading advertising and failures in the advice it gave clients releasing cash early from their pensions.
The action is focused on so-called pension unlocking, which enables people over the age of 50 to release benefits from occupational or personal pensions before reaching retirement age.
The regulator says the firm failed to identify client needs and maximised the amounts of cash withdrawn with no regard to the fall in pension income this would lead to. The more cash liberated this way, the more BJ benefited, the FSA says.
"No consideration was given to the substantial drop in the consumer's pension income or their inability to make up for that loss as they were so close to retirement," the FSA quotes David Kenmir, its director of investment firms.
Concluding its penalty notice, the FSA says the firm failed to:
The FSA says its concerns were not “accepted” by BJ following a Supervision visit in October 2002, but that subsequently the business responded once the board of IFG Group was made aware of the shortcomings.IFAonline
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