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Standard Life hit by £2.45 million fine

UK investment outfit Standard Life was today hit with a £2.45 million fine after being found guilty of misrepresenting the risks of an investment fund to customers. The £2.2 billion investment fund was investigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after complaints from investors who believed they were investing in cash when much of the fund was actually held in riskier floating rate notes. The company would have been hit with a larger fine, in the region of £3.5 million, but received a 30% break on this figure after agreeing to cooperate at a very early stage.

On 14 January 2009 the fund was devalued by £100 million, around 5% of the total value, when markets collapsed and many of the more risky investments were "revalued". Investors in the fund in question, the Pension Sterling fund, were compensated for the loss on their investments due to the revaluation of the more risky assets.

There is no doubt that the FSA is becoming more proactive in the area of fines and investigations into literature and the expectations of investors. We are seeing fines increase in value and more and more companies brought to heel by the regulator than ever before.

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