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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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Johnston: Police appeal for witnesses

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POLICE have again appealed for witnesses after a collision in Johnston, near Haverfordwest, on Wednesday (August 5).

A boy on a scooter sustained minor injuries during the collision, which took place at around 4.20pm. A red 4×4 is believed to have been involved also.

Anyone who was in the area of the St Peters Road pelican crossing, or nearby Langford road, and either witnessed the collision or who has CCTV that covers this area is asked to get in touch.

You can telephone 101, visit bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or email contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Dyfed-Powys Police Ref DP-20200805-249

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News

Police investigate ‘Chinese government vehicle’ spotted near Puma Oil Terminal

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POLICE have confirmed that they are conducting “the appropriate enquiries” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the vicinity of Puma Oil Terminal on Saturday afternoon (Aug 8).

Following a tip off a Herald reporter was dispatched to the area, and saw a black Volvo SUV with three IC5 (Korean, Japanese or Chinese) looking males inside the vehicle. The vehicle had diplomatic number plates identifying that it belonged to the Chinese government.

However, a DVLA check suggested that the plates were registered to a BMW and not the Volvo they were displayed upon.

South Hook LNG security was notified as a precaution.

A police spokesman said: “Members of the public are advised to contact the police to report any suspicious activity or incidents.”

Both the UK and US governments are currently on alert following incidents of spying relating to key infrastructure, computer systems and state secrets by the Chinese authorities.

[The image used in this report is a computer generated artist’s impression.]

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Milford Haven Street Food Festival Returns To Waterfront This August

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MILFORD Haven Street Food Festival will be setting up camp at Milford Waterfront for the third year running to continue their Summer of street food tour, and with a brand new sponsor joining for the ride! Jubel Beer will be on hand fully loaded with refreshing fruity beers to serve all weekend long.

Street Food Warehouse and their team of feeders are heading back into town this bank holiday weekend, 28th – 30th August.

Cooking up a storm between noon – 10pm, the festival is split into three mouth-watering portions and is the only way to get you in the mood for summer and of course, fill you up to the brim on all of your favourite foodie delights.

You’ll need to grab your tickets beforehand, just make sure you come with an empty belly ready to taste new flavours – the world will really be your oyster. From smokin’ souvlaki to naughty nachos, mouthwatering Malaysian to chocolatey treats. Carnivores, veggies and vegans alike will be able to get their hungry hands on a range of Insta-worthy grub from all over the world!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that you’ll need something to tingle your taste buds and wash it all down with! Luckily, The Pop Up Bar Hire Company has got the whole weekend covered, offering all of your favourite beverages ranging from zesty Mojitos to ice-cold pints of Jubel Beer.

Two Lads Kitchen, Spicer’s Meat Wagon, Makasih and Chock Shop are just some of the street food vendors that will be attending the weekend, with many more both local and national vendors to be announced.

Come rain or shine, the event is completely free and family-friendly where you can get your hands on the most vibrant and high quality street food Milford Haven has to offer.

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