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FCA shuts down advice firm after director failed to invest client money

The FCA has removed the permissions of a Cheshire-based investment advice firm after its sole director paid client money that was supposed to be invested into his own bank account.

Geoffrey Fincher, the sole director of SK8, accepted money from customers for investment despite neither him nor the
firm having permission to hold or control client money.

In a supervisory notice published this week, the FCA says he failed to invest these sums, as agreed or at all, and provided false information to clients.

It says he acted with a lack of honesty and integrity.

The notice says one customer made out a cheque for £35,000 to Fincher in January 2002 for him to invest in the best products on the market.

In a later meeting, Fincher gave the client a handwritten note setting out the details of the investments made on the customer’s behalf. The FCA says two of the four firms listed in the note say they have no record of any such investments.

Fincher last month removed himself from the FCA register. The FCA says SK8 no longer has any approved persons in the role of director and is therefore failing to satisfy its threshold conditions.

It has removed the firm’s permission to advise on and arrange deals in investments.

Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “I welcome this action. But if clients are happy to rely on a handwritten note, I will be peeved if advisers have to pay for any losses which arise from this case.”


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