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SJP pays out £1.25m after adviser misappropriated client funds

A former St James’s Place adviser has been handed a 14-year Bankruptcy Restriction for breaching trust and misappropriating client funds.

An investigation by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ Insolvency Service found that Christopher Nicholas Bladen had abused this position of trust by misappropriating at least £858,000 of funds.

He also invested at least £402,500 in funds he was not authorised to.

The investigation covered a period from July 2009 to November 2012, during which time Bladen was a self-employed adviser with SJP.

SJP have repaid or offered his clients a total of £1,250,000 in compensation and redress.

The investigation also showed that Balden received the funds given to him for investment, either by cheques made payable to himself or paid directly into his personal bank account. 

He used the money to fund his own lifestyle, gamble and pay creditors, including clients whose money he had utilized, the Insolvency Service says.

SJP say 10 clients were impacted and none were left at a oss following the compensation. A statement from SJP says: “Late last year we discovered serious misconduct by one of our Partners. We immediately terminated his contract, informed Kent Police and have ensured none of our clients were disadvantaged.”

Commenting on the case Andrew Stanley, Official Receiver for Kent Official Receiver’s office says: “Mr Bladen held a position of trust whilst acting as a financial adviser. He took advantage of this to abuse this position choosing instead to exploit the trust his clients placed in him for his own gain.”

“The Insolvency Service will investigate individuals who abuse their position of trust for personal gain or to cause loss to another. Mr Bladen’s actions were of a serious nature and gaining the highest period tariff for a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking will deter others from committing similar acts and uphold the integrity of the insolvency regime.”

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