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FCA bans and fines ex-Swinton executives nearly £1m over misselling

The FCA has fined three former senior executives of Swinton Group Limited £928,000 for failing to stop widespread misselling at the firm.

Swinton was fined £7.4m last year for misselling monthly add-on insurance policies. In 2009 the firm was fined £770,000 for failures in selling payment protection insurance.

Former chief executive Peter Halpin has been fined £412,700 and banned from acting as chief executive of a financial services firm.

Halpin failed to ensure the incentive schemes did not create a bad culture and failed to respond to warning signs of misselling.

Former finance director Anthony Clare has been fined £208,600 and banned from performing significant influence functions.

Clare also missed warning signs of misselling and was responsible for a “sale-focussed culture” that did not treat customers fairly.

Former marketing director Nicholas Bowyer is also banned form performing significant influence functions and fined £306,700.

Bowyer was also responsible for driving a sales culture that did not treat customers fairly.

FCA director of enforcement Tracey McDermott says: “A culture was allowed to develop within Swinton that pushed for high sales and increased profit without regard to the impact on the firm’s customers. We expect firms to put customers at the heart of their business. These three directors should have recognised the risk to customers and redressed the balance so that the drive to maximise profits did not jeopardise the fair treatment of customers.

“Those with significant influence within firms are responsible for setting the tone and the culture; they set the example that others will follow. Today’s enforcement action should serve as a timely reminder to those at the very top of firms that the FCA is determined to hold individuals to account where they fall short of the standard we require.”

Halpin said: “I sincerely regret any possible unintended detriment suffered by customers. I acted in good faith at all times and it is of some significant comfort that the regulator did not impugn my integrity, nor find that my conduct was improperly motivated by incentive arrangements”.

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