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Tribunal casts out FSA evidence against broker

The Financial Services and Markets Tribunal has dismissed evidence that the FSA gained against a broker in an interview where he was not allowed legal representation or access to relevant business documents.

In November 2007, the FSA found that LA Mortgage Services broker Norman McIntosh had lied on his application form for FSA authorisation. He subsequently lost his approval.

The case was referred to the tribunal and while the decision was upheld, it disallowed evidence gathered by the FSA in a three-and-a-half-hour interview with McIntosh.

The tribunal said: “We accept that it was a long interview as it lasted for threeand-a-half hours. We also accept that Mr McIntosh was not accompanied by any legal representative and was speaking from memory without the benefit of documents.

“For these reasons, we have preferred to base our decision on the documentary and oral evidence before us and we have not relied upon the transcript of the interview in any way.”

An FSA spokesman says: “We give anybody who is being interviewed the opportunity to be represented and Mr McIntosh opted to attend on his own and did not take up that offer.”

Compliance consultant Adam Samuel says: “This should not have happened. Hopefully, the regulator will have learnt the lesson, otherwise we may see McIntosh produced as a case in favour of excluding ill-gotten evidence.”

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