An IFA firm’s appeal against an FCA decision to cancel its permissions has been withdrawn.
Milton Keynes-based KWS Wealth Management Limited had its permissions withdrawn by the FCA last April after its sole director Keith Smith, received a prison sentence.
According to local media reports, Smith was sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for 24 months, over a fraudulent life insurance claim where Smith failed to declare that his dying wife had been diagnosed with cancer before taking out a £200,000 Aviva policy.
According to the FCA’s decision notice, Smith contended that his actions were “the result of extreme, personal circumstances” and “completely out of character”.
He added that in his 25 years as an IFA he had never received any client complaints.
While the FCA decided against banning Smith, it noted that judge had ruled that Smith had “abused his position and his knowledge of the financial services industry by perpetrating the fraud,” and Smith could not be a “fit and proper person” under the relevant rules due to the dishonest nature of the offence.
The FCA said: “In the circumstances and given Mr Smith’s close connection to KWS (as the sole director, sole shareholder of shares with voting rights and sole approved person at the firm), KWS has not demonstrated that it conducts and will continue to conduct its business with integrity and in compliance with proper standards.”
The appeal was due to go before the Upper Tribunal today, but court records note that the reference has been withdrawn and the hearing vacated.
KWS and Keith Smith were still listed as active on the FCA’s register with the necessary permissions at the time of writing.
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