Pension Adviser Banned by FCA for Gross Negligence and Misleading Customers
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has barred Simon Hughes of S&M Hughes Limited (in liquidation) from advising customers on pension transfers and opt outs, and prohibited him from working in any senior management role at a regulated firm. Mr Hughes also had to pay £158,600 to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) towards claiming back losses for his customers, many of whom were members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The FSCS has so far paid out £8.4 million in compensation to his clients after determining that the advice Mr Hughes provided between April 2015 and May 2019 was unsuitable. It was found that Mr Hughes had inadequate knowledge of the alternative options available to BSPS customers, and gave too much importance to the clients’ desire to transfer their pensions without considering their financial situations or ability to bear the risks associated with transferring. Mr Hughes will no longer be able to provide financial advice and customers who have received services from S&M Hughes Limited are invited to approach the FSCS if they wish to make a claim for compensation.