The FSA has banned Select Mortgage Services sole trader Joseph Masi for breaching a settlement agreement made with the regulator and providing false and misleading information.
Masi signed a settlement agreement requiring him to obtain sign-off from an external compliance consultant for all mortgage sales for a period of six months from September 3, 2007, following an FSA investigation into the firm’s systems and controls and suitability of advice.
During an FSA visit in March 2009, Masi provided records that claimed just one regulated mortgage application had completed in that six month period. For that application he had not followed the agreed external sign-off process.
Further information from mortgage lenders showed that 18 regulated mortgage applications, submitted by Masi’s firm, had in fact completed during the period, and at least 48 had been submitted.
The FSA says there was no evidence that any of these applications were approved by an external compliance consultant.
The FSA says Masi acted without honesty and integrity and demonstrated he is “not a fit and proper person”. It has banned him from working in the financial services industry because he “presents a risk to consumers”.
Director of enforcement and financial crime Margaret Cole says: “Masi not only breached his agreement with the FSA, but also failed to be truthful with the FSA by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to cover up the breach.
“This raised a number of serious questions as to his integrity and the risk he poses to customers. The FSA relies on the firms which it regulates being open and co-operative, and providing accurate information.
“Where we find that is not the case, as with Masi, we will take appropriate action. The decision by the FSA to ban Masi serves as a warning to individuals who try to mislead the FSA or who fail to comply with our rules.”