Advisers banned as directors over £44mn pension mis-selling

Advisers banned as directors over £44mn pension mis-selling

Two former financial advisers and an advice firm director have been banned from acting as company directors for 10 years due to their involvement in pension mis-selling.

Aiden Henderson, Andrew Page and Thomas Ward have all been disqualified as directors by The Insolvency Service after their unsuitable advice led to losses of more than £44mn.

The mis-selling took place between January 2014 and July 2015, initially while Henderson worked at Henderson Carter Associates and subsequently when Page and Ward both worked at Financial Page.

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Henderson and Page were both independent financial advisers, while Ward acted as a director - although he was not registered as such - at Financial Page.

All three advised clients to transfer their pensions funds into Sipps but failed to adequately explain to clients that their money was subsequently loaned to high-risk investments based in Mauritius, and therefore not subject to UK regulation.

Earlier this year the FCA banned all three from working in the financial services sector but The Insolvency Service has now followed that up by banning them from acting as directors of any company in any sector for a decade without express permission from the courts.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator at The Insolvency Service, said: "Customers need to be able to have full trust in their financial advisers, and receive proper and complete information regarding the risks to their money.

"Yet each of these directors disregarded the individual financial and personal circumstances of their clients and turned a blind eye to blatant conflicts of interest, preferring instead to prioritise their own financial gain."

Clarke added: "They have caused hundreds of people to lose money and failed to run their business in line with statutory obligations designed to ensure the provision of objective, independent advice, so they should not be surprised that they are now subject to lengthy bans."

Financial Page went into liquidation in July 2017 and Henderson Carter Associates went into liquidation in February 2017.

Both firms received referrals through Hennessy Jones, which had a significant financial interest in the Sipps and had also designed the advice process the firms used.

Page, of Shrewsbury, and Ward, of Romford, both aged 61, have bans effective from October 21, 2022, while Henderson, aged 40,of Olney in Buckinghamshire, has a ban effective from December 15, 2022.

The disqualifications prevent them from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.