The directors of two pension companies shut down in the public interest have received bans for their role in the companies? mismanagement of members? funds.

Gleeson Bessent Trustee Services (GBTS) and Gleeson Bessent Trustees (GBT), based in Preston, were wound up in the public interest by the courts in March 2017.

Investigations by the Insolvency Service into the conduct of the directors has led to the four directors giving disqualification undertakings totaling 21 years , which means they cannot run a company directly or on behalf of someone else.

Roger Bessent, of Lytham St Annes, and Tracy Park, of Freckleton, were directors of GTBS, while Roger Bessent, Matthew Bessent, of Preston, and Neil O?Donnell, of Poulton-le-Fylde, were all directors of GBT.

GBTS provided pension trustee and administration services to numerous occupational pension schemes and GBT was the trustee of three of those schemes.

In their undertakings, the four former directors accepted they failed to ensure GBTS and GBT properly performed their roles as a Trustee of the pension schemes and as a result, member?s funds were exposed to greater levels of risk than that specified in standard guidance issued by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

The former directors accepted six instances of unfit behaviour, including failing to comply with pension legislation and TPR guidance on what is expected of Trustees, as well as operating with a lack of transparency designed to persuade or encourage the public, who were not sophisticated investors, to transfer pension funds into pension schemes which relied on high risk investments.

With bans effective since last November, Roger Bessent is disqualified for 9 years, Tracy Park for 5 years and Neil O?Donnell for 3-and-a-half years.

And more recently, Matthew Bessent was disqualified for 3-and-a-half years effective from 27 June 2018.

Scott Crighton, Group Leader from the Insolvency Service, said:

Companies handling money on behalf of others have a duty to ensure that funds are properly managed.

Directors who fail in these duties will be investigated and removed from the corporate arena for a lengthy period.