The FCA has banned former chair of the Co-op Bank Paul Flowers from the financial services industry for inappropriate behaviour.
The independent review will look into the supervision of the Co-operative Bank between 2008 and 2013 to understand what lessons can be learned.
Flowers was chair of the bank from 15 April 2010 to 5 June 2013 and the regulator says his conduct demonstrated a lack of fitness required for such an important role.
The FCA found that while Flowers was chair he used his work mobile to make inappropriate telephone calls to a premium rate chat line in breach of Co-op Group and Co-op Bank policies.
He also used his work email account to send and receive sexually explicit and otherwise inappropriate messages, and to discuss illegal drugs.
This was in breach of Co-op Group and Co-op Bank policies despite having been previously warned about his earlier misconduct.
In addition, after stepping down as chair, Flowers was convicted for possession of illegal drugs.
The regulator adds that Flowers demonstrated an unwillingness to comply not only with the FCA’s requirements and standards but also with other legal, regulatory and professional requirements.
FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward says: “The role of chair occupies a unique place of trust and influence. The chair is pivotal in setting expectations of a company’s culture, values and behaviours. Flowers failed in his duty to lead by example and to meet the high standards of integrity and probity demanded by the role.
“These high standards are what the financial services industry and the wider community rightly expect of its senior individuals. Where a chair, or other senior individual, fails to discharge these standards the FCA will hold them to account.”