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FCA bans ex-adviser over £160k fraud to fund gambling and escort visits

The FCA has banned a former financial adviser after he was jailed for 18 months for defrauding clients out of £160,500 to fund a gambling habit and visits to female escorts. 

Michael Bains, who most recently worked for Bright Future IFA according to the FCA register, was banned yesterday from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity.

In August 2013 Bains was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after being convicted by York Crown Court of six counts of fraud. The offences were committed between April 2009 and March 2012.

The court heard Bains had run up substantial debts, including a £100,000 gambling debt. 

Bains persuaded clients to invest in private deals for non-existent property development and investment schemes and used the money to fund repayments to other investors as well as his gambling habit and expenditure on female escorts he had met via internet sites. 

He was found to have visited escorts on at least 49 occasions, spending around £150 on each visit.

Bains’ victims lost between £15,000 and £100,000, including a 58-year-old woman who lost her life savings of £100,000.

Detective Sergeant Edwards of the North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit said at the time of sentencing: “Bains has used his position to convince people who trusted him to invest their life savings wisely. He has cynically used their hard earned cash to indulge his obsession for gambling and escorts. 

“There was no investment scheme – only other victims to repay. He has now declared himself bankrupt so there is little chance that the victims of the fraud will receive any compensation.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Derek Bradley ceo Panacea Adviser 7th January 2014 at 8:49 am

    “In August 2013 Bains was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after being convicted by York Crown Court of six counts of fraud” and he was banned yesterday?.

    Words fail me.

  2. Another year and more bad publicity for the industry. Seriously, these frauds are happening all over the world folks but of course this one involves financial services, not the king of Siam Land trying to smuggle money out of his country in carrier bags, so its worthy of an article. Albeit, on the face of it six months after the event. Why?

  3. Quite frankly this story sums up our industry really, RDR created “clever” fraudsters who clearly are able to manipulate the system to their advantage while the FCA are more concerned at overregulating the honest advisers (99.99%) and gunning for the easy option rather than concentrating on the difficult part 0.01%. How depressing

  4. James Harrington 7th January 2014 at 9:55 am

    Derek, whilst hardly wishing to defend the FCA, the process followed exactly that laid down. A “warning” notice in October (when the FCA announced what it was doing with warning notices), a “decision” notice, and finally a “final” notice.

    And on top of it, unless “snout speculating” is a regulated activity, the fact he was locked up for 18 months in August meant he was hardly going to be a regulatory challenge.

  5. I hear that the Co Op are looking for a new boss lol

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