The FSA has banned mortgage brokerage director Martin Russell Lafrance, for not having the proper systems and controls in place to detect financial crime.
While a director at Dorset-based General Finance Centre between October 31, 2004 and December 19, 2008, the FSA found Lafrance failed to ensure that reasonable checks were undertaken to verify the accuracy of the information provided by customers and identify irregularities in mortgage applications.
Lafrance was the operations director responsible for the administrative team of seven staff in the operations department, which processed the regulated mortgage contracts, and he had a specific responsibility to ensure that systems and controls to prevent financial crime were being followed in his department.
The regulator found that in one case a man who operated a motorcycle breaking business declared on his mortgage application that his income was £450,000 per annum.
Yet a letter from his accountant on the customer file advised that his business made a pre-tax profit of £24,000.
However, GFC processed the mortgage application on the basis of an annual income of £450,000 and the applicant and his wife obtained a £600,000 mortgage.
The FSA also found Lafrance failed to adequately supervise and monitor the GFC staff who worked in the operations department and ensure that GFC staff performed their roles with skill, care and diligence.
In its final notice, the FSA says: “The FSA has found that Lafrance is not a fit and proper person to perform any controlled function involving the exercise of significant influence in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm, due to his lack of competence and capability.”