The FSA has taken action against Baronworth (Investment Services) and its chief executive Colin Jackson over failures to ensure direct financial promotions were clear, fair and not misleading.
The FSA has banned Jackson (pictured) from performing any significant influence function other than as or through an appointed representative.
Jackson has been widely quoted in national and trade press and has also offered adviser commentary for broadcasters such as BBC and Sky. He was voted media services IFA of the year by IFA Promotions, now known as Unbiased, and its media services team in 2001 and 2005.
The regulator says Baronworth’s financial promotions lacked balance by emphasising the benefits of a proposed investment without giving equal prominence to the risks. Baronworth also failed to handle complaints appropriately, a significant proportion of which arose from its financial promotions of the Eurolife Secured Bond Isa.
Jackson was solely responsible for drafting and approving direct offer financial promotions and handling complaints within Baronworth.
The FSA wanted to fine Baronworth £50,000, but as the firm entered into liquidation on 17 July 2012 this was reduced to nil so that any funds could be returned to creditors.
FSA head of retail enforcement Bill Sillett says: “This particular case emphasises the need for authorised firms and approved persons to ensure their financial promotions are clear, fair and not misleading, especially when they are carried out on a direct offer or non-advised basis. This is particularly important to ensure non-advisory firms are compliant with the recent changes brought in by the RDR.”