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FSA faces tribunal battle in bid to ban ‘broker poacher’

The FSA is seeking to ban a senior executive at inter-dealer brokerage firm BGC from working in financial services on the grounds he is not a fit and proper person.

The regulator published a decision notice last week to ban Anthony Verrier due to concerns over his honesty, integrity and reputation. Verrier has referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal.

The FSA says it has based its decision on the High Court’s findings in the case brought by rival brokerage Tullett Prebon against BGC Brokers LP and 13 other parties, including Verrier.

In March 2010, Mr Justice Jack at the Royal Courts of Justice in London ruled BGC and Verrier had taken part in an “unlawful conspiracy” to poach 10 brokers from Tullett to join BGC.

The FSA states: “Mr Verrier was found [by the High Court] to have participated in an unlawful means conspiracy, the unlawful means including the inducement of the broker defendants to breach their contracts of employment with Tullett by leaving early without lawful justification.”

The High Court also found that in his evidence “Mr Verrier stuck to the truth where he was able to, but departed from it with equanimity and adroitness where the truth was inconvenient”.

FSA acting director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says: “In light of the High Court’s findings about Verrier’s conduct, we have concluded he is not fit and proper to be in the UK financial services industry.”

Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “Brokerages routinely recruit each other’s staff, so I am a bit bemused about the FSA’s ban in that respect. However, if Verrier was not completely truthful during the trial, then he clearly he is not a fit and proper person.”

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