Communications firm fined £525,000 for failing pension investors

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Liberata, a firm that provides customer communications for several large financial companies, including Axa and Barclays, £525,000 for leaving millions of customers at risk of not receiving important information.

The City regulator found failures in Liberata's systems for issuing documents to pension policyholders, meaning that 30,000 people did not receive important details about their policies to help with investment decisions. The watchdog estimated that 161 customers suffered a small financial loss as a result of these failings.

The FSA said the firm had acted recklessly, and Margaret Cole, director of enforcement, added: "The failings by Liberata were particularly serious as they put policyholders at risk of not receiving important information. This resulted in customers not being treated fairly."

The firm has since made changes to senior management and appointed consultants to oversee document production.

The FSA again granted a 30 per cent discount on the original £750,000 fine after Liberata agreed to settle at an early stage of the inquiry. An 'Independent on Sunday' investigation previously showed the FSA to have discounted nearly £4m in fines since late 2006.