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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.
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 [email protected] 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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Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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