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FSA bans and fines broker £16,000 for high pressure sales tactics

The FSA has banned and fined £16,000 a former broker at Square Mile Securities Limited for using unacceptable sales tactics.

It says it has banned Baljit Somal for selling high risk shares to customers without their consent.

This comes after action taken by the FSA against Square Mile Securities Limited and one of its brokers Mohammed Miah, in January and February this year, for using high pressure sales tactics and misleading information to sell customers shares they did not want or could not afford.

The regulator reviewed 11 transactions including recorded telephone calls, involving Somal between December 2005 and May 2006. In four of the transactions, Somal had been dishonest by recording the purchase of shares worth £59,000 against clients’ accounts without their permission.

The FSA says customers would have only known about the sale when they received a demand for payment.

Somal also made inaccurate and misleading claims about the high risk shares and used high pressure methods to convince customers to buy them.

Somal received a 20 per cent discount under the FSA’s executive settlement scheme; taking the £20,000 fine down to £16,000.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole says: “Mr Somal used his position of trust to take unfair advantage of his customers, who expected him to be honest and to treat them fairly. Approved persons should take notice that the FSA expects them to always act with integrity towards their customers. We will continue to take action against any individuals that fail to do so.”

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