Aiden Henderson, 40, Andrew Page, 61, and Thomas Ward, 61, have all been disqualified as directors following their roles in pension mis-selling which took over £44 million from would-be investors.
The mis-selling took place between January 2014 and July 2015, initially whilst Henderson worked at Henderson Carter Associates Ltd and subsequently when Page and Ward both worked at Financial Page Ltd. Henderson and Page were both independent financial advisers, while Ward was found to have acted as a director (although he was not registered as such) at Financial Page Ltd.
Earlier this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) prohibited them from working in the financial services sector, as well as imposing fines.
They are now additionally disqualified from acting as directors of any company in any sector, without express permission from the courts.
The directors all advised clients to transfer their pensions funds into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), but failed to adequately explain to clients that their money was subsequently loaned to high-risk investments based in Mauritius, and therefore not subject to regulation by UK authorities.
Both firms received referrals through Hennessy Jones Ltd, which had a significant financial interest in the SIPPs, and had also designed the advice process the firms used.
Financial Page Ltd went into liquidation in July 2017 and Henderson Carter Associates Ltd went into liquidation in February 2017.
The total compensation claim made through the Financial Service Compensation Scheme was £44.1 million, although because individual claims are capped, many investors still lost significant sums.
Following a trial, 10-year Disqualification Orders were made against Andrew Page and Thomas Ward on 30 September 2022. Their bans are both effective from 21 October 2022.
On 23 November 2022, the Secretary of State accepted a 10-year disqualification undertaking from Aiden Henderson and ended legal proceedings. His ban is effective from 15 December 2022.
The disqualifications prevent them from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service said:
Customers need to be able to have full trust in their financial advisers, and receive proper and complete information regarding the risks to their money. Yet each of these directors disregarded the individual financial and personal circumstances of their clients and turned a blind eye to blatant conflicts of interest, preferring instead to prioritise their own financial gain.
They have caused hundreds of people to lose money and failed to run their business in line with statutory obligations designed to ensure the provision of objective, independent advice, so they should not be surprised that they are now subject to lengthy bans.
Andrew Mark Thomas Page is of Shrewsbury and his date of birth is December 1960.
Thomas Henry Ward is of Romford and his date of birth is October 1961.
Aiden James Henderson is of Olney and his date of birth is June 1982.
Financial Page Ltd (Company Reg no. 07782075).
Henderson Carter Associates Limited (Company Reg no. 07011381).
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.