FCA fines Catalyst boss £450k after appeal fails

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The chief executive of failed investment firm Catalyst Investment Group has been fined £450,000 after the Court of Appeal rejected his application to appeal.

In 2015 the FCA sought to ban and fine Timothy Roberts for his part in the collapse of Catalyst.

The regulator said the firm mislead investors when promoting bonds issued by ARM Asset Backed Securities. A £30m interim FSCS levy for investment advisers was issued as a result.

Roberts referred the FCA decision to the Upper Tribunal in 2013 which backed the regulator in 2015.

In January 2016 the Court of Appeal refused Roberts’ application for permission to appeal the Tribunal’s decision.

The regulator is now free to fine Roberts £450,000 and ban him from any regulated activities.

In November 2009, the Luxembourg regulator told ARM to stop issuing bonds as it did not have the proper licence.

In the 2015 determination, the Tribunal ruled that Roberts allowed Catalyst to continue promoting ARM bonds and collecting money from investors after November 2009, despite the statements from the Luxembourg regulator.

Roberts and Wilkins also allowed Catalyst to provide misleading information about ARM’s licence in a letter to advisers in December 2009. This was followed by another misleading letter to investors in March 2010.

The Tribunal has moved to water down the original sanctions proposed against Wilkins, halving the fine from £100,000 to £50,000. It has also referred the decision to ban him from senior roles in financial services back to the FCA.