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FSA bans and fines mortgage broker £17,500

The FSA has banned and fined North East-based mortgage broker Robin Knox £17,500 after he exposed 500 of his customers to the risk of receiving unsuitable advice.

Knox, managing director of Mortgage and Property Services Limited, was banned for lacking competence and capability and for failing to ensure his firm had proper systems and controls in place for the nature of the business it conducted.

The FSA also fined Knox for failing to organise the firm’s affairs effectively and responsibly and failing to ensure the firm met required standards in recommending mortgage contracts.

The FSA found that the firm’s advisers recommended mortgage contracts which were not suitable taking into account clients’ needs and circumstances, including cases where sub-prime mortgages contracts were recommended in circumstances where it appeared that prime mortgage contracts may have been available.

Also, Knox failed to ensure that the firm adequately disclosed to customers the amounts of fees payable and to ensure that the firm made and retained adequate records about why it considered recommended mortgage contracts were affordable and suitable.

FSA head of retail enforcement Jonathan Phelan says: “We are continuing to find instances where mortgage brokers are unwilling or unable to maintain the standards we require and where we come across this we will use our regulatory powers to ban these individuals and where appropriate impose a financial penalty on them as well.”

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