Company director ordered to pay £12,800 by The Pensions Regulator for failure to provide information
06 March 2020
Michael Woolley, a company director who was the subject of an investigation by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), has been issued a £10,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £2,800 for failure to provide information and documents as requested.
Mr. Woolley was due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court but prioritised the diving holiday in Cuba that he said he already had booked, and so did not attend. TPR had asked that he provide information pertaining to money and assets from 16 pension schemes as part of an ongoing investigation.
TPR can request information and documents under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004, and they initially asked for the details on 22 January 2019. He did not supply all of the information required by the statutory deadline of 12 February 2019 and could not provide a valid excuse for this failure. One of the reasons provided was that he had been preoccupied with trying to qualify for a biennial offshore yacht contest. This took precedence over providing the information requested from the TPR.
Mr. Woolley is the director and a shareholder of Southbank Capital Limited, where money was invested and also director of PIM Trustees Limited, which is the trustee for the pension schemes.
Judge Tessa Szagun maintained that, as sole director, Mr. Woolley should have had easy access to the information requested and his failure to comply with TPR’s request used up their valuable time and resources.
TPR’s Director of Enforcement, Erica Carroll, said:
“The use of our information gathering powers is essential in our work to safeguard people’s pensions.
Anyone refusing to comply with our requests without good reason should take note – they could find themselves in court with a criminal record.”
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