Financial Conduct Agency gets tough with commission-grabbing FAs

Published:  11 Mar at 6 PM
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Three financial advisors have been banned and another prohibited from running an FA company for unethical manipulation of pension funds resulting in 4 million in commissions.

The FCA investigation revealed the four had unnecessarily switched their clients’ funds held in six pension schemes in order to generate a massive sum in commission. Those whose funds were affected are at risk of getting lower pensions or even losing their savings as the investments in which they were placed are considered high risk.

The four advisors were acting together to perpetrate the scam, with Michael Conway, the director of CBW Pensions Forensics Ltd, not informing the pension funds about his gain from advice given by G&G Financial Services’ Andrew Powell. In April 2010, Conway made up a false introducer agreement between a taxi company and G&G in order to conceal a payment of £56,000.

Conway ultimately received £2.1 million gained in commissions by the FAs promoting the scheme. Powell acted as an independent advisor to Conway whilst employed by G&G, recommending that the monies be placed in a high-risk property fund, and the owner of G&G, Martin Gwynn, failed to monitor the fraudulent transactions.

Daniel Conway, a director of Staverton Wealth Management, partially owned by Michael Conway, was also involved. Since its formation as successor to the FSA, the FCA has concentrated on financial misdemeanors affecting pension transfers, mis-selling and other activities, but cannot help in any way if an FA is unregistered.

Unfortunately, its powers stop at the UK’s borders, leaving expats in many overseas locations frequented by unqualified, unregistered, commission-hungry salesmen in danger of being peddled various scams and schemes which usually involve high-risk investments. Last year’s collapse of the LM Australian property funds have been felt across the expat world as far as the UAE and Thailand, with those affected unable to get recompense as the salesmen have disappeared.
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