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Curtis Banks was in the top 10 of complained to companies, according to the latest complaints data from the FCA.

The FCA has apologised for its handing of the collapse of London Capital & Finance (LCF) and the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 and has set out its approach to assessing related complaints.

The Financial Conduct Authority has appointed its first chief data officer among five new appointments announced today as it pushes ahead with its ambition to become a 'data-driven' regulator.

The FCA has begun civil proceeding in the High Court against Paul Steel for providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice.


It has also secured in interim injunction which freezes the assets of both Mr Steel and his partner Ms Foster up to the value of £7m, pending a further hearing.

The regulator said Mr Steel’s firm, Estate Matters Financial (in liquidation), contravened the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice, leading consumers to exit defined benefit pension schemes when it was not in their best interests to do so.

The regulator added that Mr Steel, Estate Matters Financial’s director and co-owner, was knowingly concerned in the contravention.

The FCA alleges that Mr Steel breached FCA requirements by undertaking a course of conduct which resulted in the removal of the firm’s assets, leaving it unable to meet potential liabilities for unsuitable advice, while enabling him to retain the significant profits that accrued from the provision of the advice and from ongoing fees.

An injunction was also obtained against Ms Foster on the basis that she may be holding or controlling assets owned by her partner Mr Steel.

The FCA has also asked the Court to make a restitution order requiring Mr Steel to compensate consumers who have suffered losses as a result of receiving unsuitable pension transfer advice.

No trial date has been set.

The FCA has revealed that 50% of authorised firms previously using the Gabriel data reporting system have moved across to the regulator’s new RegData data collection system.

The FCA halted 343 applications for authorisation from firms and individuals in 2020 in a clampdown to protect consumers.

The former interim chief executive of the FCA Christopher Woolard has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

The FCA has urged financial services firms to be ready for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December as it prepares to make 300 updates to its website.

The FCA’s Financial Services Register will be offline for five days from 31 December to 4 January while the regulator makes Brexit-related changes.

Warrington-based LJ Financial Planning has been fined £107,200 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for providing its customers with unsuitable pension switching and transfer advice and failing to manage its conflicts of interest.

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