FSA revokes director approval

Nia Williams

January 18, 2010

The move prevents him from holding senior positions in the financial services industry for at least two years.

Roger Collins was the only director and approved person in his firm Thoroughgood Harrison and Davies. An FSA investigation uncovered a series of failings that placed 300 customers at risk of receiving unsuitable advice.

A number of client files were reviewed and it was apparent that inadequate affordability assessments were undertaken by the firm’s advisers. One client was recommended a mortgage contract which exceeded his net income and others were recommended potentially unaffordable mortgage contracts which extended into their retirement.

Collins’ inadequate management and poor understanding of regulatory requirements led the FSA to conclude that he lacked the competence and capability to perform senior roles of significant influence at an authorised firm. He also breached an undertaking given to the FSA to prevent an unqualified mortgage adviser from giving unsupervised advice to customers.

The firm has now been put in voluntary liquidation and is therefore no longer active in the market.

Collins would have been fined £30,000 for his failure to comply with Statement of Principle 7 of the Statements of Principle and Code of Conduct for Approved Persons (“APER”). However, evidence was supplied which demonstrated that imposing such a fine would cause severe financial hardship and threaten Collins’ solvency.

Margaret Cole, head of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Collins failed to manage his firm adequately and he failed to convince the FSA that he was competent and capable of performing “significant influence” functions at an authorised firm.

“Senior management who do not demonstrate the necessary skills to ensure their firms are properly run, and their customers are protected, will face tough sanctions.”

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