The FCA has applied to strike out a financial adviser’s appeal against his ban from the regulator.
Barnet-based adviser Anthony Badaloo, whose company traded as Church Hill Finance, gained authorisation in 2004 to conduct both investment advice and regulated home finance business.
Badaloo received convictions in 2015 on one count of trespassing and one count of theft, for which Badaloo was sentenced to 100 hours’ unpaid work, and ordered to pay £3,500 in costs, plus a £60 victim surcharge, leading to the FCA removing his positions.
Badaloo received a final notice from the FCA in October last year, which added that he had failed to turn over business records and creditor positions to the regulator.
The FCA also alleged that some of his business records were destroyed after his principal office was repossessed, and that inadequate backups were in place.
The FCA ruled: “On the basis of this, the Authority considers that Mr Badaloo cannot be expected to act with probity.”
The regulator had asked Badaloo to voluntarily remove his permissions, but he declined to do so.
Badaloo opted to challenge the decision at the Upper Tribunal.
“No reasonable prospect of success”
In a preliminary hearing this morning, FCA barrister Adrian Berrill-Cox informed the court that the regulator was applying to have Badaloo’s appeal struck out because it had “no reasonable prospect of success”.
Berrill-Cox said that Badaloo’s appeal “calls into the question the criminal convictions,” and so would be an “abuse of process”.
He said: “Once the conviction stands and is not open to challenge, this undermines any prospect of success.”
Berrill-Cox added that Badaloo had “failed to cooperate with the Upper Tribunal to the extent that the Upper Tribunal cannot deal with proceedings fairly and justly”.
He said: “Nothing has been said of any relevance to contradict the authority’s case. It therefore stands alone…Therefore the applicant has no reasonable prospect of success.”
Berrill-Cox said that the convictions for theft and trespassing were enough in themselves to warrant removal of permissions, but also the “cumulative effect and overall picture” of transgressions such as refusing to turn over documents to the regulator would also justify a ban.
He said: “Given there is an offence of dishonesty here that is still of great importance when determining suitability.”
“Still trading strongly”
Badaloo, who represented himself in court, said he was “still trading strongly” and was “fully compliant”.
He said: “I submit extensive returns to the regulator on a six monthly basis.”
Badaloo disputes his conviction, saying that the court could not provide a sealed conviction order.
Judge Roger Berner said he was unable to make a decision immediately and would return with his judgment on the FCA’s proposal to throw the case out in due course.
Berner said: “I’m very well aware striking out is effectively the final step and not one that can be taken lightly.”