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FSA cancels adviser’s permissions over FOS award

FSA building 480

The FSA has cancelled the permissions of adviser firm Argentum-Lex Wealth Management for failing to pay a Financial Ombudsman Service award relating to its predecessor business.

Argentum-Lex Wealth Management was registered with the FSA in June 2008, based at the same address as Wynyard.

A final notice against Argentum, published by the FSA last week, shows that in July 2010 Argentum agreed with the FSA to pay any FOS awards made against Wynyard, its predecessor business whose authorisation ended in May 2010.

A FOS award was made against Wynyard in June 2011, but the regulator says despite repeated requests from both itself and the FOS, Argentum failed to pay the award.

The warning notice and decision notice against Argentum, which detail the circumstances around the award against Wynyard, have not been made public.

The FSA says Argentum failed to pay due regard to the interests of its customer or treat him fairly, and failed to satisfy the FSA that it is conducting its business soundly and prudently.

Argentum took its case to the regulatory decisions committee, part of the FSA’s independent appeals process, but the RDC found in favour of the FSA.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “If a company changes its name but is essentially the same company, and as a result is able to ignore its responsibilities to its client, then the approach taken by the FSA appears to be sound.

“This firm agreed to pay in the event of any awards made, so it has only got itself to blame for not doing so.”

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