Standard Life Fined £2.45m for Publishing Deceitful Information

The giant pension provider Standard Life has been fined £2.45m by the Financial Services Authority for publishing deceitful information about one of its investment funds.

The City watchdog reveal the firm was found guilty of "serious systems and controls failings" that caused its investors receiving marketing material claiming its Pension Sterling Fund was a low- risk cash fund suitable for people who were approaching retirement.

Last January, the provider cited that only 12% of the fund was held in cash and a significant amount was invested in toxic mortgages and that the falling housing market along with rising debts had squeezed its value by 4.8%.

In addition, FSA accused it saying that the insurer had failed to ensure there were accurate systems and controls over the fund, specifically in relation to the marketing material produced. It cited Standard Life would have been fined £3.5m above, as it failed to undertake any stringent measure in this respect.

Margaret Cole, FSA's director of enforcement and financial crime said, "There were also inadequate processes in place to enable effective communication between business areas and committees resulting in a lack of awareness of any divergence between the marketing material and investments held by the fund".

Rising criticism made Edinburgh-based insurance company to apologize, saying, "We have learned important lessons from this mistake and have made significant improvements to our marketing literature processes to prevent the same thing happening again".