FCA blocks bid to buy advice firm stake over money laundering failings

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The FCA has stopped an adviser taking a controlling stake in Ubiety Wealth Management because of a dismissal following money laundering failures that were not fully disclosed.

In November 2014 Ubiety – which has permissions to advise on investments, insurance and debt – notified the regulator Lynda Croome was to acquire 33 per cent of the firm.

However, the notification did not give a full picture of Croome’s employment history, the FCA says in a final notice published last week.

Croome did not state that she was suspended and dismissed by one firm, while she failed to give enough detail on a dismissal from another firm.

In the latter case, it was alleged Croome signed money laundering certificates confirming the true likeness of individuals without ever having met them.

The FCA says: “Her description indicates that she was dismissed for administrative irregularities, but it does not give sufficient detail in relation to exactly what happened, which the Authority can have expected to have received, due to the serious nature of the allegations against her.”

It adds: “The issues of non-disclosure raise serious concerns in relation to the integrity of Ms Croome.”