A Claims Management Company
Total amount invested
Over £112 million.
Why did people invest in it?
1 Stop offered unregulated overseas investments which typically offer higher returns on investment.
Why was it mis-selling?
The directors of 1 Stop were banned by the FCA for failing to provide the appropriate advice and investments for their customers individual needs.
Potential value of cases
Estimated at £56,000 per client (based on £112 million divided between 2000 customers).
1 Stop Financial Services offered pensions transfer services to their clients. As of April 2014, they had 1,959 customers and over £122 million in assets under management. They specialised in offering non-standard investments such as the Harlequin Property investment scheme. £112 million of this £122 million total was invested in non-standard investments, of which 49% of customers had some exposure to Harlequin.
In April 2014, two partners of 1 Stop Financial Services were banned from acting by the FCA for a range of offences related to the mis-selling of pensions and inappropriate pensions transfers. These offences included: failing to appropriately recommend products based upon their customers stated requirements; failing to ensure that their firm complied with regulatory requirements; delegating 1 Stop’s compliance requirements to an external firm, and then failing to provide oversight; and for failing to disclose a conflict of interest to their clients.
This conflict of interest was that both Mr Rees and Mr Hughes, the two partners of 1 Stop, were also the directors and shareholders of EGI, a firm that referred almost a quarter of 1 Stop’s customers. This meant that Rees and Hughes were both benefitting from the fees paid for advice from 1 Stop, and from the commission paid to EGI.
Alongside their ban, Rees and Hughes were also fined by the FCA. This fine amounted to £490,100, which they agreed to pay to the FSCS in order to compensate customers of 1 Stop Financial Services.
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