An ex-retail investment advisor is the first to be banned by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority for faking his credentials, authorities say.
Ewan King has been fined about $36,655 (£19,900) and banned from undertaking any regulated activity, after he allegedly fabricated Statements of Professional Standing, which prove that a UK advisor is qualified to the minimum standard put in place by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
“Mr. King failed not only to achieve the qualifications required by RDR, but then acted dishonestly and continued advising customers," said Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, in release "His conduct fell woefully short of the standard that we, and consumers, demand of those who work in the financial services industry.”
According to the FCA, King had a contract with a principal firm allowing him to perform certain activities regulated by the FCA. In early 2013, he allegedly led this firm to believe that he held a Statement of Professional Standing issued by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – a body accredited by the FCA to verify advisors’ qualifications. When asked to prove his credentials, King sent two fabricated documents, reported the FCA.
The FCA later checked the validity of King’s statements and was told by the CII that he had not been issued them because did not reach the right level of qualification. According to the FCA,
King’s contract with the firm was terminated after he admitted he had failed the exams.
King agreed to settle early on in the case and qualified for a 30 per cent discount. Were it not for this discount, the FCA says it would have imposed a financial penalty of about $47,400.33 (£25,734).
Regulator crackdown in the U.K.
Regulator set to name and shame advisors before trial
UK advisor numbers may be an omen for industry in Canada