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Director of financial adviser fined £75,000 and banned for lying to FSA

The FSA has fined the director of a West Midlands financial adviser firm £75,000 for lying repeatedly to the regulator, and banned him from the industry.  

Simon Kuun ran MFP Group Plc, a financial planning firm in Bromsgrove, but an FSA investigation in 2008 found that he lacked the honesty and integrity expected of an approved person and he was fined £50,000.  

The fine has now been increased to £75,000 as Kuun lied to the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal when giving evidence.

Kuun first came to the FSA’s attention during a supervisory visit to MFP in 2005. He told the FSA that his business had stopped using unapproved and unqualified staff to visit customers.

This was found to be untrue, and the FSA discovered that Kuun had simply transferred their contracts to a company called Membership Services Limited, which was registered in the West Indies.  

Kuun denied any involvement with the firm, maintaining that MSL was owned and run in Switzerland by an acquaintance called John Graham.

However, an investigation found that Kuun himself was the subscriber who paid for MSL’s mailbox address in Switzerland, and that any post addressed to MSL was forwarded back to MFP’s office in Bromsgrove.

The Tribunal agreed with the FSA that there was no credible evidence to suggest that John Graham actually existed, and that Kuun had invented him to mislead both the FSA and the Tribunal in their investigations using his own middle names.  

The Tribunal found that Kuun had demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity and had also failed to be open, candid and truthful with the FSA.  

It was also found that he is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.  

As Kuun was the sole shareholder of MFP and is therefore MFP’s sole controller for the purposes of the FSA’s rules, the business will cease to operate.  

FSA director of enforcement and financial crime division Margaret Cole says: “We could not allow this dishonesty by Kuun to go unpunished. It was a premeditated and sustained attempt to deceive the FSA and prevent effective regulation.”

She adds: “This and other recently published cases, such as Pak Property Centre and Aston Sterling Insurance Services Limited, show our determination to exclude dishonest people from the industry, including those who believe it is acceptable to lie to regulatory authorities in order to conceal their criminality and other wrong doing.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. There are dishonest people; there are dim people and occasionally the real winners are both dishonest and incredibly dense!…. I will leave it to the reader to decide which category Kuun falls into?

  2. About blinking time too ! I first ran into Simon Kuun when he was the MD of Millennium Financial Planning – and they never paid me the commission they owed me for then, so I simply took all my clients (and those of other disgruntled advisers) with me somewhere else. I did let the FSA know at that point of my concerns – but it was ignored ! . . . and he was using the Membership Services thing then as well – a complete con artist ! ! !

  3. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 17th December 2009 at 12:02 pm

    OOhhhhhhhhhhhh…..

    Another big scoop by the FSA!

  4. Quelle surprise!

  5. I don’t understand why it took 4 years to investigate and ban the guy. I would be interested to know what authorisations he had, how many ‘advisors’ and his turnover. Also, did the FSA tumble him or was it a whistleblower or complaint.
    While I am very happy that a bad apple has been removed from the barrel I don’t feel any the wiser about what actually went on and to what extent.

  6. Yet the banks get away scot free!! I’m pleased that this guy was caught & punished but, in comparison he is small fry.

  7. As Tim and Malcolm say we are not really told what went on or whether any clients suffered loss etc.
    Yet the large banks get away virtually scott free and their directors far from being fined or banned get employed by the regulator itself, or another large firm with no questions asked!

    If the regulator had a shred of honesty the ‘rules’ would be applied equally without fear or favour rather than the present disgraceful bias displayed over the past few years.

    The FSA will never off course answer its critics because it believes it has exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act while claiming that it must never give out information for fear of the Data Protection act. (I have personal experience of trying to get info. from them. They tried to fob me off for months)

  8. He has probaly earned GBP400K in the 4 years it has taken them to fine him GBP75K. You do the maths!!

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