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£112m pension swindle

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1stop

THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY has banned two Pembrokeshire businessmen from working in the financial industry after they orchestrated unsuitable self-invested personal pension (SIPP) switches to thousands of people in the county and beyond.

Andrew Rees and Timothy Hughes, who previously ran 1 Stop Financial Services in Haverfordwest pushed 2,000 clients into SIPPs which were not suitable for their needs.
The firm, has now ceased trading, but the pair have now opened a music shop on High Street called Musicians World in the same building where 1 StopFinancial took place.

The pair have been banned from performing any significant function in any regulated activity authorised by the FCA.

The FCA told the Herald that between October 2010 and November 2012, Rees and Hughes’ firm advised nearly 2,000 customers on switching their existing pensions (valued at in excess of £112m) into SIPPs. Their customers then used the SIPPs to invest in products such as diamonds and overseas property which were typically not permitted by the customers’ existing schemes.

The pair have been fined £490,100 but have instead agreed to pay that amount to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which is investigating redress claims by 1 Stop clients.

FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott said: “By enabling customers to invest in unregulated and often high risk products without assessing suitability, these men exposed customers to the risk of losing their hard earned pension funds.

“This was then compounded by the partners’ failure to ensure that their customers fully understood these risks”.

Rees and Hughes failed to comply with the statement of principle for approved persons which states that a SIF must take reasonable steps to ensure that the business for which he is responsible in his accountable function complies with regulatory requirements, the regulator said.

The pair also failed to disclose a conflict of interest, as they were directors and shareholders of EGI, a firm that referred almost a quarter of 1 Stop’s SIPP customers during the relevant period.

EGI was paid a fee for referrals, meaning that Rees and Hughes were benefiting from both the fees paid by customers for the advice given by 1 Stop and also from the commission received by EGI.

Hughes also failed in his compliance duties.

Rees and Hughes, will be, according to the FCA, writing to all customers informing them of the situation.

Timothy Adrian Hughes spoke to the Herald by telephone yesterday. He said: “We are unable to comment on this matter as we are not legally permitted to do so. Any comments we make to the press need to be first cleared by the FCA in writing.”

The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that 1 Stop Financial services employed a compliance officer. Questions are now being raised if the compliance officer should have done more to prevent the risk to the 2000 customers, or if the buck stops at the owners of the firm.
The Pembrokeshire Herald has been contacted by a number of 1 Stop’s clients. One gentleman told us,  that he felt he had been swindled into investing his pension into more risky ventures than he was comfortable with.
The Pembrokeshire Herald continues to investigate.
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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Shawn

    April 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    “Hiding behind your keyboard” says Reginald Dwight
    and “If you feel that strong about it, why post anonymous” says Anne Nominus!! Hillarious

    So that’s it then, its Stupid and Crooks.

  2. Ron Shirley

    April 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Well, you cant cure stupid but you can train it.!

  3. Reginald Dwight

    April 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Speaking of rot, I think this whole thing is rotten and you lot are the types of people who would see a car wreck and stand there gawping and pointing.

    Man up the lot of you!

  4. Anne Nominus

    April 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Shawn – I think we all see the irony about posting anonymously under an anonymous name!

    Did you laugh when you worked that out? I bet you did! Your so clever you see!

  5. Shawn

    April 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I still can’t work out which one of the salesmen you are Reg, I’d say you’re the one selling banjos. I could be wrong.

  6. Reginald Dwight

    April 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Reply to Shawn.

    I am neither now nor have I ever been employed by 1 stop or their new venture in any way shape or form.

    I certainly don’t sell musical instruments either.

    Neither am I family or friend and also I have never been a client of their former pensions company.

    I am making an observation only and same as you, giving my tuppence.

    I would be happy to talk to some more about it Shawn but in all honesty, I’m already bored with you and your comments and one thing I’ve learned in my many years on this planet it, don’t waste your time with people that bore you.

    Good evening to you.

  7. Shawn

    April 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Good night banjo man, it’s been fun fishing.

  8. sherry maile

    April 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    We were conned by these guys 6 years ago,but there was 3 of them then.I will be following this up…..

  9. dave ferris

    May 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    sherry do you know if there is a group that has been formed to possibly sue this company . i was cooned into putting my money into guardian . [ spanish property market]

  10. mickeyd53

    August 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Dave Ferris please feel free to contact me on elmo1dunn@gmail.com And yes they are still on the fiddle haha

  11. Rab

    October 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    You all took pension loans you scumbags

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News

Pembroke: Leave teenage girls alone, sex offender told

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A SEX OFFENDER from Ashdale Lane, Pembroke has been jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders which were put in place to protect young girls.
Gareth Thomas James Flynn, aged 41, frightened a 14-year-old girl who refused to get off a bus in case he managed to find out where she lived.
41-year-old Gareth Thomas James Flynn scared a 14-year-old girl because she refused to get of a bus, frightened he would learn her address.
He admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was jailed today for a year.
Sitting at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters berated the defendant.  His Honour said that Flynn had shown a complete disregard for the original SHPO.
The judge said: “Leave teenage girls alone. They are scared of you”
He told Flynn he would be on licence for 12 months after his release from prison, and he reminded him that the SHPO remained in place.

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Narberth: ‘My mum’s camper was stolen and found burned out down the road’

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A CAMPER VAN stolen on Thursday night in Narberth was found burned a short distance from where it was parked, the owner’s son has said.

Zachary Bunce posted an appeal on Facebook on Friday morning saying: “Can every single one of my friends please share this my mother’s Ford transit campervan was stolen last night in the Narberth area can people please be on the lookout for this van as my mother is completely heartbroken.”

But three hours later he updated the post to say: “Thank you everyone who shared, sadly my mums van was driven 1.3 miles down the road and driven into a ditch and burnt it out.

Mr Bunce has said on that the incident has been captured on CCTV, and took place at 2.10am in the morning (Jan 24).
Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.

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News

Hook: Police and school confirm death of boy, 13

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POLICE are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old boy from Hook on Wednesday (Jan 22)

A police spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy, from the Hook area of Pembrokeshire.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. Next of kin have been advised and are being supported.”

A letter was sent out to parents and carers by Haverfordwest High VC School headteacher Jane Harries following the death. The letter reads: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you about the sudden death of a year nine pupil at our school.

“The children in Year nine were told this morning by myself and other pupils were told by their teachers during their lesson this afternoon. The full detail surrounding the death are not known at this stage – but children have been reassured that this is something that does not happen very often. Your child may or may not want to talk bout it, but it is likely that he/she will need your special care, attention and reassurance at this difficult time.

“We are deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, whilst allowing the children opportunities to talk about the pupil if they wish to. Trained support staff and counsellors are helping to support us through this difficult time. If you feel that your child needs extra support, please let us know.

“Our thoughts are with the pupil’s family at this difficult time, and the whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s achievement leader, or Miss Thomas, pastoral support manager. Paul Lucas, chairman of the governing body at Haverfordwest High VC School, said: “The governors are shocked at the tragic loss of this young student. The family are in our thoughts at this very sad time.”

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