FCA warns about Hartley Pensions communications

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The FCA has taken the uncommon step of issuing a warning about communications from a troubled agency, SIPP and SSAS supplier Hartley Pensions.

In July, Hartley Pensions went into administration after struggling a sequence of issues. 

It was banned earlier within the yr from taking over new enterprise as troubles mounted.

In its newest intervention this week, the FCA mentioned it was involved a couple of current message from Hartley to members which will have fearful them and likewise contained errors.

The communication was despatched on 23 November from Tony Flanagan, a director of Hartley and a director of corporations that act as a trustees of the Hartley SIPPs. It was despatched to members of the pension schemes administered by Hartley with out the settlement of the joint directors at UHY Hacker Younger LLP or the FCA, the FCA mentioned.

In a press release the FCA mentioned: “We beforehand offered an replace on Hartley Pensions Restricted in July notifying shoppers that the agency had entered administration, and Peter Kubik and Brian Johnson of UHY Hacker Younger LLP had been appointed as joint directors.

“The joint directors have written to shoppers explaining the steps they’re taking within the administration, and additional info is offered on their web site.

“On Wednesday 23 November, a communication was despatched to members of the pension schemes – administered by Hartley – by Tony Flanagan, a director of Hartley and the director of the businesses that act as trustee of the Hartley SIPPS, with out the settlement of both the joint directors or the FCA.

“The communication comprises factual inaccuracies which can have triggered prospects concern.”

The FCA mentioned that prospects’ current pension property have been presently “unaffected” by the agency going into administration. The pension property are held by trustee corporations which aren’t regulated by the FCA and haven’t entered into insolvency. 

The regulator mentioned it was for the directors to find out how the prices of transferring prospects’ SIPPS to various regulated SIPP operators must be charged. Nonetheless, if any deductions are required to be constructed from prospects’ SIPPS, then the directors shall be required to make an utility to courtroom and any charges could be topic to the oversight of the courtroom.

Hartley has been topic to a lot of FCA necessities as a result of “severe operational, monetary and regulatory points.” On account of these points, the FCA requested that the agency go into an insolvency course of within the curiosity of shoppers. The agency sought skilled insolvency recommendation and, because of this, the administrators decided that it was bancrupt and took steps to put the agency into administration.

Directors UHY Hacker Younger mentioned in regards to the letter from Hartley: “This letter has not been authorised by the directors and is factually incomplete and inaccurate.”

UHY Hacker Younger added that regardless of intensive efforts, it had not but been in a position to safe a sale of the Hartley Pensions Restricted SIPP enterprise and was now searching for courtroom approval to switch out shoppers’ SIPPs on a person or bulk foundation. It’s unlikely it will occur earlier than the primary quarter of 2023, it mentioned.

For Hartley’s SSAS ebook, UHY Hacker Younger mentioned {that a} sale is “more likely to be agreed shortly” and is anticipated to finish by the primary quarter of 2023 with SSAS shoppers transferred to a brand new operator.  

 

Hartley Pensions acquired the consumer books of a number of failed SIPP suppliers in recent times and purchased the Guinness Mahon ebook in February 2020 after that agency collapsed. The deal meant the switch of 4,000 SIPPs beforehand administered by GMTC which suffered a string of issues and authorized actions from sad shoppers.

Different SIPP books Hartley acquired in recent times included GPC, Berkeley Burke SIPP and Greyfriars AM.




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