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Director banned and fined over Ucis sales

The FSA has banned and fined P3 Wealth Management director Patrick O’Donnell £60,000 for advising clients to invest in unregulated collective investment schemes and other non-mainstream investments when they were unsuitable.

The FSA said O’Donnell, who was based in West Lothian, Scotland, did not understand the regulatory restrictions on the promotion of Ucis, which state they should not be promoted to the general public, and failed to promote these schemes compliantly.

The regulator found that O’Donnell failed to adequately assess whether the products were suitable and whether his clients were eligible to receive promotions for Ucis under the FSA’s restrictions.

In total, O’Donnell advised 57 of his clients to invest in Ucis, 14 of whom also invested in other non-mainstream investments. From a sample of 15 clients, the FSA found that around two-thirds of O’Donnell’s customers invested over 75 per cent of their pension funds into Ucis and other non-mainstream investments.

The FSA says it asked O’Donnell to stop selling Ucis following a visit but he permitted £185,306 of Ucis business to be completed just four days before he confirmed to the FSA that he would stop selling the products and completed Ucis investment applications on behalf of two clients after this confirmation.

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