The FCA has banned an insurance broker and fined him £70,000 after he took £630,000 in premiums and used them to cover office expenses.
David Wren, the former chief executive of Chester-based insurance broker Astbury Wren & Company, has been banned from undertaking any regulated activity after the regulator found he failed to act with integrity.
Astbury Wren paid premiums it collected into a client account. As chief executive, Wren was solely responsible for transferring the commission the firm was entitled to into its office account.
However, the FCA found that between March 2009 and February 2012 Wren transferred an additional £630,000 into the office account and used it to cover office expenses rather than paying insurance premiums.
Astbury Wren ceased trading in February 2012, owing £1.4m to insurers in unpaid premiums.
Three customers had to pay their premiums again, totalling £9,021, or face the cancellation of their policies.
Wren’s fine was reduced by 30 per cent, as he settled the case at the first opportunity. However, the FCA judged the failings to be so severe that it did not reduce the fine as a result of financial hardship.