FCA to ban insurance broker

Sarah Davidson

April 16, 2015

The Upper Tribunal has directed the Financial Conduct Authority to prohibit former insurance broker Stephen Robert Allen on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person.

The Tribunal reached this decision because Allen was found to have submitted a forged document in evidence and to have knowingly given untrue evidence before the High Court in another matter.

The Tribunal also based its decision on the fact that Allen had attempted to mislead the FCA as to the full contents of the judgment from the High Court trial.

Georgina Philippou, acting director of the FCA’s enforcement and market oversight division, said: “We have taken action against Mr Allen because, as the Tribunal’s findings have made clear, he failed to demonstrate the standards of behaviour we expect.

“Those approved by us to engage in financial services have to be fit and proper, and an important aspect of this is honesty – including towards the FCA, towards customers and towards the Tribunal and the Courts.”

Allen was an insurance broker specialising in professional indemnity risks. On 25 July 2012 the FCA (then the FSA) issued a decision notice to Allen stating that it intended to prohibit him because he was not a fit and proper person as a result, among other things, of fees he had allegedly charged improperly to an insurance client.

Allen referred the decision notice to the tribunal and, in support of his case, he produced a single redacted page from a High Court judgment handed down on 16 December 2011 (in which Allen was the claimant) with the intention of discrediting a witness due to give evidence against Allen for the FCA.

Allen refused to provide a full, unredacted copy of the judgment to the FCA despite being asked to do so by the FCA. The FCA therefore obtained a copy of the judgment from the Court transcribers and discovered that the judge had found that Allen had knowingly advanced and given untrue evidence to the High Court which included submitting a forged document as evidence.

As a result, the FCA obtained permission from the Tribunal to rely on the findings in the High Court judgment and Allen’s subsequent attempts to conceal these from the FCA as grounds to prohibit him, in place of the FCA’s case concerning insurance fees.

Following a trial of this matter from 3-6 February 2014, the Tribunal concluded that Allen was not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to a regulated activity, and that the FCA should prohibit him from doing so. The Tribunal’s decision was issued on 6 August 2014.

Allen applied for permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal the decision of the Tribunal but his application was dismissed in February 2015.

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