Pension directors banned for 21 years

Pension directors banned for 21 years

The directors of two pension companies shut down in the public interest have been banned from running a company for a total of 21 years.

The former directors accepted six instances of unfit behaviour, including failing to comply with pension legislation as well as persuading or encouraging the public, who were not sophisticated investors, to transfer funds into pension schemes which relied on high risk investments.

Roger Bessent, of Lytham St Annes, and Tracy Park, of Freckleton, were directors of Gleeson Bessent Trustee Services (GBTS), while Roger Bessent, Matthew Bessent, of Preston, and Neil O’Donnell, of Poulton-le-Fylde, were all directors of Gleeson Bessent Trustees (GBT).

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GBTS provided pension trustee and administration services to numerous occupational pension schemes and GBT was the trustee of three of those schemes.

Scott Crighton, group leader from the Insolvency Service, said: "Companies handling money on behalf of others have a duty to ensure that funds are properly managed.

"Directors who fail in these duties will be investigated and removed from the corporate arena for a lengthy period."

None of the directors disputed they failed to comply with guidance issued by The Pensions Regulator or the provisions of the pension legislation.

Nor did they dispute the claim one or both of the companies made investments in companies where the accounts and instruments did not reflect the investment made, or that they offered contrived and artificial ‘employment’ to members to circumvent what was considered to be guidance requiring the need for members to be employed by the sponsoring employer of the occupational pension scheme.

With bans effective since last November, Roger Bessent is disqualified for nine years, Ms Park for five years and Mr O’Donnell for three-and-a-half years.

Matthew Bessent was disqualified for three-and-a-half years effective from 27 June 2018.