The reduction was made by the FCA in the long running case because it was decided that a recent Upper Tribunal verdict on a similar case meant a lower fine was “more proportionate.”
Lloyd Pope and Peter Legerton, former directors of advisory firm TailorMade (TMI), were banned from senior positions in financial services by the FCA for failings over SIPP investments.
TMI encourage pension savers to invest £112m into unregulated investments such as green oil, biofuels, farmland and overseas property via SIPPs.
Between 2010 and 2013, 1,661 customers invested in these areas by transferring their pension funds to SIPPs following advice from TMI. Many investors were not typically permitted to invest in these areas by their existing pension schemes.
TMI’s customers typically invested in high risk investments and more than half of them invested in overseas property operated by the Harlequin group of companies, which are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
The FCA said that Mr Pope failed to “understand fully” the underlying products which TMI’s customers were investing in via their SIPP.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is currently investigating claims made by TMI’s customers and has already paid compensation to 1,245 of TMI’s customers.
Earlier this month the FCA decided to withdraw Mr Pope’s Decision Notice and Final Notice of 20 March 2015 and to impose on him a revised penalty, proportionate to that imposed by the Upper Tribunal in the connected disciplinary case of Mr Alistair Rae Burns, another director of TMI.
The original fine imposed on Mr Pope was £93,800 including a 30% discount as he agreed to settle at an early stage of the investigation.
However the FCA said that due to the case involving Mr Burns resulting in a £60,000 fine it had decided to impose a revised, lower penalty of £23,400 on Mr Pope to reflect his involvement in the matter.
Mr Pope has been banned from any regulated activity with effect from 20 March 2015.
The financial penalty must be paid by Mr Pope within 14 days.