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FSA bans adviser for major client failings

The FSA has banned Powell Price director Nigel Layton after finding him guilty of failing to pass on client premiums to insurers and leaving clients uninsured.

The regulator has banned Layton from carrying out any functions in relation to any regulated activity after finding him not fit and proper to work in the industry.

The FSA says Layton “knowingly and deliberately accepted clients’ insurance premiums which he failed to pass over to the relevant insurers and intermediaries, leaving at least 16 clients uninsured”.

It says Layton then used client money to cover the firm’s running costs and other business expenses over a period of at least 12 months, when he knew the financial position of Powell Price was deteriorating.

He also stopped managing the firm’s client account and failed to carry out reconciliations of the client account.

Layton has accepted he was solely responsible for this misconduct. Powell Price was a small IFA based in Herefordshire although it mainly conducted insurance business.

FSA head of retail enforcement Jonathan Phelan says: “Firms must not use their clients’ money for their own purposes. The FSA will deal robustly with firms and individuals that misuse client money. Deliberate and knowing rule breaches of the kind committed by Layton can lead to the individual being banned from the regulated financial services industry which is the most serious sanction we can impose. By his misconduct Layton posed a risk to consumers, and to confidence in the financial system.”

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