The UK's Financial Services Authority has banned sole trader Darrell Mark Eaden from being a senior manager for failing to monitor effectively his pension transfer specialist. This exposed customers to the risk of receiving unsuitable advice.

Mr Eaden traded as Liberty Financial Consultants and specialized in mortgages and investments.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has found that, between May 2004 and March 2005, Mr Eaden did not exercise due skill, care and diligence in managing the business of Liberty.

According to the FSA, Mr Eaden failed to maintain an appropriate level of understanding of pension transfers and to supervise and monitor the firm’s pension transfer specialist; did not take reasonable steps to ensure that Liberty’s pension transfer business was organized so that it could be controlled effectively; and failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that Liberty’s pension transfer business, for which he was responsible, complied with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system.

Jonathan Phelan, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, said: Firms must have in place and operate effective systems to ensure suitable advice is given to customers – this is a key part of treating customers fairly. Mr Eaden was responsible for ensuring that Liberty’s pension transfer specialist was effectively monitored, but he fell a long way short of achieving this. As a consequence he has been banned from being a senior manager.

Our action should leave firms in no doubt that the FSA places great emphasis on the importance of adequate systems and controls, and individuals responsible for those systems and controls will be held accountable if they are not adequate.