FCA bans and fines two brokers £30k

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The FCA has banned and fined former insurance brokers Terence Joint and Vroni O’Brien for failings relating to the handling and misapplication of client money.

They will pay fines of £10,000 and £20,000, respectively.

Joint and Vroni were formerly directors of Joint Aviation Services.

The regulator found Joint Aviation had used premiums paid by clients for its own use, such as to pay business expenses.

The business stopped conducting regulated activities in July 2012 and its permission was cancelled in January 2013.

At June 2012, Joint Aviation owed £150,253 to insurers for outstanding premiums, which resulted from the sale of its insurance business to another intermediary.

The FCA said that between April 2011 and June 2012, O’Brien failed to act with due skill, care and diligence leading to the firm transferring money from its client to its business bank account when it was not entitled to.

O’Brien continued to do this after a client money shortfall was identified. She also failed to take steps to understand her responsibilities as a director and the chief executive of Joint Aviation which caused the business to keep inaccurate client money calculations.

The regulator said the firm failed in managing the business and did not take reasonable steps to make sure client money accounts were operated properly.

FCA enforcement and market oversight director Mark Steward says: “Directors of an authorised firm that is permitted to hold or control client money have a duty to ensure client money is protected and handled properly.”

He adds: “Ms O’Brien and Mr Joint failed to do this and did not act with the skill, care and diligence that consumers rightly expect from the principals of an insurance intermediary.”

“Consumers should not be exposed to the risk of loss because of misconduct and, in these cases, the FCA will hold to account senior managers who have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the misconduct from occurring.”