FSA issues £600,000 fine to Sun Life Financial of Canada

A BRITISH life insurer has been fined £600,000 after admitting to governance failings that could have potentially affected 114,000 policies and £1.2bn of assets.

The UK division of Sun Life Financial of Canada, part of the global Sun Life Financial group, admitted that it made mistakes relating to its with-profits pension funds in 2008 and 2009.

During that period the with-profits committee undertook two substantial transactions without referring them to the board of directors.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement at the Financial Services Authority, said: “It is essential that insurers operating with-profits funds ensure policyholders are properly protected.”

“The firm fell below the standard required. Its with-profits committee and board, who had primary responsibility for the fair treatment of policyholders, were not adequately consulted on two significant transactions.”

Sun Life Financial of Canada’s British division operates as a closed book and has not accepted new business since 2010.