And finally… dog eat dog

The Pensions Regulator has fined the retirement scheme of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in a rare instance of one watchdog issuing a fine to another.

The FCA’s pension plan has been presented with a £2,000 fine by the Pensions Regulator after the annual statement from its chairwoman did not provide enough information to the members of the scheme.

A £2,000 fine is the heaviest one which the regulator can impose for such an action and it is embarrassing for the authority, which is responsible for overseeing financial conduct.

Baroness Hogg is the chairwoman of the FCA’s pension plan trustee board. She is also an independent director of Times Newspapers, who is also a non-executive on the authority’s board.

The Pensions Regulator said: “The FCA Pension Plan did not comply with the law because it did not include all of the information that it should have. We will take action against the trustee of any scheme which fails to comply with the chair’s statement requirements.”

Pension schemes are obligated to statements from the head of the board every year, detailing how trustees have met their governance requirements.

It is thought that the authority’s plan did not provide information including sufficient details of the training that trustee board members received and historical data on fund managers’ charges and costs.

The failings were in the 2018 statement for the authority’s money purchase scheme, which has almost 17,000 members, The Times reports.

Baroness Hogg said: “It’s been a salutary lesson to be reminded what it’s like to be at the other end of the regulator’s telescope. It’s clearly important that pension scheme members get all the information required.

“I have apologised to them for what happened in 2018, we have made all the information available and for our 2019 statement we improved our processes to ensure we were fully compliant with TPR’s requirements.”

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