The FCA has banned and fined a former retail investment adviser £19,900 for fabricating statements of professional standing.
Ewan King was an appointed representative of Intrinsic and led the firm to believe he held an SPS from the Chartered Insurance Institute.
When challenged to produce his SPS, King sent two fabricated documents, produced by editing a template of an SPS he found on the internet.
The FCA then checked the validity of the SPS, only to be told by the CII King had not applied for or been issued with one because he had not reached QCF level four.
King later admitted to his principal firm he had failed the relevant exams and his contract was terminated.
King gave retail investment advice to three customers without having the relevant qualifications. The FCA says there was a significant risk the advice was unsuitable.
The FCA has made no findings against the principal firm. The CII has withheld publication of the case so as not to prejudice the FCA’s investigation.
King is the first adviser to be banned for fabricating SPSs.
FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says: “Pushing up professional standards was a key objective of the RDR. Thousands of advisers have met those standards. Mr King failed not only to achieve the qualifications required by RDR but then acted dishonestly and continued advising customers.”
A spokeswoman for the CII says: “The systems operated between the CII and the FCA indicated a discrepancy in King’s SPS.
“King received a reprimand and was expelled from membership of the CII on 18 October 2013.”
Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “If this adviser was prepared to forge his own qualifications, he is likely to have been prepared to engage in all kinds of malpractice.”