Four top 50 firms including Moores Rowland, BDO Stoy Hayward, Shipleys and Ernst & Young have been punished by the disciplinary committee, largely for falling foul of Section 48(1) of the Pensions Act 1985.
However Shipleys, which was 'severely reprimanded' and fined £2,500 with £1,000 costs for charges which included 'a failure to make adequate disclosures of fees charged for payroll services', slammed the ruling and revealed it had been involved with a long running argument with the institute.
Shipleys said: 'We did not agree with all of the findings but we have decided to stop fighting the charges and pay up. But we do accept there were some technical irregularities and the client in question did suffer from this lamentable slip up which occurred early in the 1990's.'
Ernst & Young in Bristol was fined £500 with £500 costs for two counts of submitting company accounts containing 'typographical errors'.Geoff Norman, National Head of Audit at Ernst & Young said: 'We deal with tens of thousands of accounts every year and incidents such as these, while regrettable, fortunately are extremely rare.'
Three offices of BDO Stoy Hayward were each fined £500 with £250 costs.Its Nottingham and London Baker Street offices were fined after they 'failed to report under Section 48(1) of the pensions Act 1995, that the trustees of five pension schemes had not obtained audited accounts within seven months of the relevant year end'.
The firm's Wolverhampton branch was fined £500 with £250 costs after three pension scheme trustees 'had not obtained audited accounts within seven months of the relevant year end'.
Moores Rowland was also fined £500 with £250 costs for two counts of failing to report that the trustees of a retirement and death benefit scheme had not obtained audited accounts for the schemes within set periods of time. Nobody at Moores Rowland or BDO Stoy Hayward were available for comment.
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