Warning Notice

On , the Financial Conduct Authority issued a Warning Notice to MOTOR CHOICE N.I. LIMITED
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Warning Notice Statement 23/3

The Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) gave an individual a warning
notice on 6 March 2023 proposing to take action in respect of the conduct
summarised in this statement.

IMPORTANT: A warning notice is not the final decision of the FCA. The
individual has the right to make representations to the Regulatory
Decisions Committee (RDC) which, in the light of those representations,
will decide on the appropriate action and whether to issue a decision
notice. The RDC is a Committee of the FCA board which decides whether
the FCA should give certain statutory notices described as within its
scope by the FCA’s Handbook.

If a decision notice is issued, the individual has the right to refer the
matter to the Upper Tribunal which would reach an independent decision
on the appropriate action for the FCA to take, if any.

If either the RDC or the Upper Tribunal decides that no further action
should be taken, the FCA will publish a notice of discontinuance provided
it has the individual’s consent.

The following is a summary of the reasons why the FCA gave the individual
a warning notice:

The FCA considers that the individual, whilst trading as a sole-trader
firm that was an Appointed Representative of a Principal firm, breached
Statements of Principle 1 and 2 of the FCA’s Statements of Principle for
Approved Persons when carrying out their controlled functions in
connection with the Principal firm’s defined benefit pension transfer
business between 3 January 2015 and 22 June 2017 (the Relevant

In particular, the FCA considers that, during the Relevant Period, the
individual demonstrated a lack of integrity by:

recklessly disregarding red flag warnings that the two-adviser advice
model they operated was non-compliant because in giving pension
transfer advice they did not take into account the separate investment
advice given by another firm; and

dishonestly signing an Appointed Representative Agreement between
their sole-trader firm and the Principal firm, which they knew had been
backdated, knowing that it was to be provided to the FCA to create the
false impression that an agreement had been in place from the date
that their sole-trader firm had become an Appointed Representative of
the Principal firm.

The FCA also considers that the individual failed to act with due skill, care
and diligence in providing pension transfer advice. In particular, they:

failed to communicate information to customers in a way which was
clear, fair and not misleading, such that customers were not placed in
an adequately informed position from which to make a decision to

used generic standardised reasons that were not sufficiently tailored
to the customer, in purporting to explain why a recommendation to
transfer out of a defined benefit pension scheme was suitable;

failed to ensure that at the fact-finding stage they gathered all
necessary information regarding the customer, including details of
their financial situation, investment and specific retirement objectives,
and attitude to risk;

failed to properly assess, on the basis of the information obtained, or
give due consideration to, the customer’s financial situation, their
retirement needs and whether they could financially bear the risks
associated with the pension transfer;

failed to properly assess whether the pension transfer that was
recommended met the customer’s specific objectives and was
therefore suitable;

failed to ensure that the personal recommendation met the customer’s
information needs and was clear, fair and not misleading; and

failed to ensure that the personal recommendation explained
adequately why the pension transfer was suitable for the customer.

The FCA considers that the individual’s conduct amounts to a failure to
comply with regulatory requirements aimed at ensuring that customers
received suitable pension transfer advice and were treated fairly.

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