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FSA to appeal Financial Services and Markets Tribunal decision

The FSA has applied for permission to appeal Financial Services and Markets Tribunal decisions in relation to Leeds-based solicitor firm Fox Hayes.

This is the first time the FSA has sought permission to appeal a Tribunal decision.

The September 2007 and March 2008 decisions relate to a £150,000 fine doled out by the FSA over the firm’s financial promotion of overseas companies.

The regulator found that Fox Hayes had approved a number of promotions for unauthorised overseas companies and had failed to ensure the promotions were clear, fair and not misleading. It also found the solicitors had reason to doubt the honesty of the overseas firms.

But the Tribunal ruled that the FSA was wrong to reach these conclusion, although it did concede that Fox Hayes had reason to doubt the overseas firms’ honesty.

As a result the FSMT ordered the fine to be more than halved to £70,000.

But during the trial it was revealed that one of Fox Hayes’ partners,Robert Manning, had received further commissions for share transactions without disclosing them. The Tribunal added £74,400 to the fine, bringing the total to £146,000.

The FSA says it has made the application because it believes that errors of law have been made in interpreting regulatory rules and that the penalty imposed does not properly reflect the misconduct.

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