Pensions Regulator  

TPR bans corporate trustee for ‘serious’ failings

TPR bans corporate trustee for ‘serious’ failings

The Pensions Regulator has banned a corporate trustee and one of its directors after finding "serious" governance shortcomings including failing to carry out transfer requests and make lump sum payments.

Audax Management Limited and its director Edward Kelly will no longer be allowed to act as pension scheme trustees after the regulator found a "lack of competence, capability and integrity".

Audax was a defined contribution occupational scheme which had around 38 deferred members and assets valued at almost £1.2m.

Eight members had complained to TPR, with issues including claims the trustee had declined transfer requests with "inaccurate and inadequate explanations".

HM Revenue & Customs had also contacted the trustee warning it did not regard its administrator as "fit and proper" and would de-register Audax unless the issue was resolved. 

But TPR said when it investigated further it found Audax had not addressed the risk of de-registration, either by appointing a new administrator or transferring members and assets to another registered scheme.

A warning notice issued by TPR also flagged other "serious problems" with Audax, including the fact it no longer had an employer, administrator or investment adviser and no scheme bank accounts.

The regulator said "no responsibility was taken by the trustee to resolve these issues to the benefit of the scheme’s members".

Erica Carroll, director of enforcement at TPR, said: "In this case, the corporate trustee and director showed a severe lack of knowledge and understanding.

"This case shows we will ensure those trustees that fail to meet the statutory requirements and the high standards we expect in respect of scheme governance are stopped from failing other savers by continuing to be able to act as pension trustees."

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.