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By Michael Trudeau | Published Sep 03, 2012

Tribunal backs FSA bans over £20m unauthorised Sipp transfer

The Upper Tribunal has backed the Financial Services Authority in a decision to strike off a referral after two company directors and self invested personal pensions trustees transferred more than £20m in cash holdings without members’ permission.

John James Quarrell and Susan McKenzie Beaumont are at the time directors of both Quarters Trustees and The Freedom Sipp.

Between May and June 2006, TFS, which administered the self-invested personal pension scheme of the same name, transferred all member cash holdings from the Bank of Butterfield to Newcastle Building Society.

Equalling more than £20m, the cash holdings were transferred without permission from scheme members, although member consent had been sought. According to the tribunal, some members had not responded and TFS had taken their silence as a positive answer.

Also, money from HM Revenue & Customs in response to VAT reclamations and totalling almost £100,000 was inappropriately transferred, with £46,057 going into the QTL office account and £47,406 being used for general business purposes. In neither case had the funds been passed on for the benefit of the scheme members.

Mr Quarrell and Ms Beaumont failed to meet the standards of fitness to be trustees and of financial soundness.

The Tribunal allowed their application to be struck off on the grounds that they had little or no reasonable chance of success.

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