‘I hoped the problem would go away’: Why the FCA banned ex-Towry adviser

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A former Towry adviser banned and fined by the FCA for insider trading admitted to “burying his head” rather than alerting his employer and the FCA when he realised he had acted illegally.

Earlier today the FCA banned Mark Taylor for at least two years and fined him £36,285 for acting on information sent to Towry staff that said the company was increasing the price per share it was offering to pay to acquire wealth manager Ashcourt Rowan.

The fine was reduced from £78,819 after Taylor showed evidence of financial hardship.

The final notice states that having read the emails from Towry management Taylor, who had previously traded in shares for his Sipp account using a broker, used his online trading account to purchase 5,582 shares in Ashcourt Rowan for a total of £15,011.82.

This was despite one the emails cautioning staff not to act on the information because it could be deemed insider dealing.

After the increased offer for Ashcourt Rowan was publicly announced, Taylor sold his shares for £18,509.91, making a profit of £3,498.

The final notice says despite realising he was guilty of insider trading, Taylor did not inform Towry’s compliance function or the FCA of his concerns.

He said at a later interview: “I just buried my head and hoped the problem would go away.”

Taylor was also deemed to have concealed his engagement in market abuse by changing the email address future trade confirmations should be sent to from his work address to a personal email account.

Taylor said he changed his email address because he panicked, knowing he had acted improperly.

Before joining Towry, where he worked for two and a half years, Taylor worked for 22 years as an adviser in the retail banking sector.

Yesterday, an investment banker and a chartered accountant were jailed for their part in an insider dealing conspiracy broken up by an FCA investigation.