FCA: director barred for life and fined £116k over dodgy pension advice
A former director and senior financial adviser at pension switching firm Consumer Wealth has been barred from financial services and fined £116,000 by the UK’s watchdog.
The FCA found that Omar Hussein advised customers to switch their existing pensions when this was often unnecessary and not in their best interest. Between 2015 and 2017, Mr Hussein and his firm advised 620 customers to switch their pension into a self-invested personal pension putting at risk an estimated £13.5m of his customers’ retirement savings.
Executive Director for Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, said “Consumers work hard over many years to save for their retirement and unsuitable pensions advice can significantly impact their quality of life in retirement – or their ability to retire at all.
“Mr Hussein acted recklessly and abused the trust of his clients by taking unjustifiable risks with their retirement savings. He has proven himself unfit to work in the financial services industry,” he added.
Hussein advised customers to invest in Portfolio 6 a high-risk investment comprised of unregulated mini-bonds relating to overseas investments in car parks, renewable energy and holiday resorts.
These investments were illiquid in nature and highly likely to be unsuitable for the low net worth, financially inexperienced investors who were the firm’s target market, according to the FCA.
Read more: FCA chairman Charles Randell to leave post after over three years in the job