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FSA bans IFA for fraud and financial crime offences

The FSA has banned a sole trader IFA after he was convicted of 18 financial crime offences, including fraud and money laundering.

Adrian Bancroft, trading as UK Expatriates Independent Financial Advisory Services, was authorised to carry out regulated home finance and designated investment business.

In July 2010 Bancroft was convicted at Teesside Crown Court of ten counts of fraud by dishonestly making a false representation to make a gain for himself or cause loss to another.

The fraud offences include arranging for clients’ policies and bonds to be surrendered without their knowledge.

He was also convicted of four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three counts of acquiring criminal property, and one count of money laundering.

Bancroft committed 15 of these offences while authorised by the FSA.

He was sentenced, also in July 2010, to three years imprisonment.

In a warning notice sent to Bancroft dated January 25, 2011 the FSA says: “The convictions, and the conduct which gave rise to them, go directly to impugn your honesty, integrity and reputation, and therefore demonstrate that you are not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.”

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Comments

There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Ivan McCullough 15th April 2011 at 11:16 am

    Well done FSA its only taking you 9 months !!!! how can something like this take you so long ? Good job he was in prison or he would have still been trading in this time.

  2. Agree with everything that has happened to this Sole Trader, But would they have done the same to a Bank employee!!!!!!!

  3. The law of the land and the fraud office was used to investigate and catch this fraudster. It begs a question what have the FSA been doing and why do we need them ……. and their fat salaries , expense accounts guaranteed pensions.

  4. Sounds like Adrian has a wonderful future as an MP to look forward to (when he gets out). He’s certainly ticks all the boxes.

  5. what was the FSA doing while he was doing this?

  6. Anonymous | 15 Apr 2011 11:20 am

    Fraud and Money Laundering are Criminal Offences so needs to be handled by the police and the courts.

    The FSA only has Civil Powers.

    As usual a posting on here with no real understanding of law, regulation or rules.

  7. Consider the thousands of fraudulent claims sanctioned and facilitated by the FOS. This is state sponsored fraud. PS did you know Mr & Mrs IFA that your are obligated to report FOS claiments to your ML authorities if you merely “suspect” they are making a claim in disregard of of the truth! THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL – YOU ARE OBLIGATED!

  8. Philip Westwood 15th April 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Only 9 months after conviction….the FSA really are getting their act together!

    I know of one IFA who was convicted in January 2009 and STILL has not had any kind of sanction from the FSA……..

    As to the difference between criminal offenses and the FSA powers, the FSA are a supervisory body and therefore are supposed to identify these events as a matter of course BEFORE the victims complain to the Police. So ‘what was the FSA doing….’ is a perfectly legitimate question.

    They should spot irregularities, criminal or otherwise, as part of their supervision.

  9. “Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority” on your stationery and website.

    Is it a licence to do what you like?

    I asked the FSA if it would be wise for providers to check the register to see whether the firm asking for direct cheques and money transfers can ‘hold client money’, they say they depend on the firm to be honest and true.

    POINT, FINE, BAN!!!

    Dear regulators, regulation is not supposed to be some kind of after the event insurance!!

  10. There’s a similar former IFA in Edinburgh who has an older woman fronting an IFAEYE business for him and he is continuing his bad advice practice. More innocent clients to the slaughter.
    Where are the FSA?

  11. Lack of education has led to this.

  12. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 15th April 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Interesting to see he was convicted in 2010 and then the FSA ban him in 2011.

    The useless FSA trying to claim other organisations (police) victories again. Whats the point of the FSA. Maybe as Evan says. Just rake in the bonus money via fines and then ban after the horse has bolted.

    This is a WORLD CLASS REGULATOR remember Gordoin Brown? Oh I forgot Gordon Brown recently admitted he did it all wrong and said sorry. Thats alright then!

  13. I expect the fact he is now in jail would put most clients off doing further business with him. However, the FSA ban will be a nasty surprise for him when he gets out. Interestingly, no one from the larger banks is in jail following the onset of the credit crunch, and the FSA couldn’t say what had gone wrong.

  14. To quote Nick
    What were the FSA doing ?

    Ans:trawling through 200 Park Row applications from people that were guilty by association and had to prove their innocence over the next 17 months

  15. The FSA do have criminal powers.

    I can assure you that

  16. Apart from the fact that July 2010 to January 2011 is, by my reckoning, 6 months rather than 9, one wonders why, amongst the 10,000 pages of FSA rules and regulations, there isn’t one that forbids providers from paying surrender values to anyone other than the holder of the policy or investment in question, regardless of whether or not the intermediary is authorised to hold client money.

    Was Bancroft so authorised (which not many IFA’s are) and was it not encumbent upon any of the providers to check? For heaven’s sake, it’s simple enough, isn’t it?

  17. Also ~ didn’t the providers in question write to the policy/account holders notifying them that their investment/s had been surrendered and that the proceeds had been sent to Bancroft? That would have set alarm bells ringing without any delay. For how long was Bancroft getting away with these activities before the FSA became aware of them? Given that he managed to surrender 15 investments before the gaff was blown, it must have been a good few months, if not longer. Is this perhaps another example of Systemic Regulatory Dysfunction (SRD) because the FSA has chosen to allocate so much of its resources towards steamrollering through the RDR in the mistaken belief that higher qualifications and the abolition of commission will fix all the ills of the industry? To what level was Bancroft qualified, we wonder?

  18. I have been approached on the telephone by
    a company called Cavendish Moore v posh.
    Are they ok?

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