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Tribunal upholds FCA ban for PI broker

The Upper Tribunal has upheld a decision by the FCA to ban a former professional indemnity insurance broker.

Stephen Allen was issued with a decision notice by the FSA in July 2012, which intended to ban him because he was not a fit and proper person.

The regulator said Allen had secretly added a fee to the premiums charged to a client, a firm of solicitors known as Segens.

It also argued he had diverted money due to insurance broker R J Langman Insurance Brokers, for which he worked as a consultant, to his own benefit.

Allen denied the allegations, arguing that Segens had consented to the fee, and appealed the decision. 

However, the Tribunal found that Allen had submitted a forged document and given untrue evidence to the High Court in another matter.

FCA acting head of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “We have taken action against Mr Allen because, as the Tribunal’s findings have made clear, he failed to demonstrate the standards of behaviour we expect.

“Those approved by us to engage in financial services have to be fit and proper, and an important aspect of this is honesty – including towards the FCA, towards customers and towards the Tribunal and the courts.”

In support of his case to the Tribunal, Allen produced a single redacted page from a High Court judgment handed down on 16 December 2011, in which he was the claimant, with the intention of discrediting a witness due to give evidence for the FCA. 

Allen refused to provide a full copy of the judgment to the FCA when asked to do so.

The FCA obtained a copy of the judgment from the court, which showed the judge had found Allen had knowingly advanced and given untrue evidence to the High Court which included submitting a forged document as evidence.

As a result, the FCA obtained permission from the Tribunal to rely on the findings in the High Court judgment and Allen’s subsequent attempts to conceal these from the FCA as grounds to prohibit him, in place of the original case concerning fees. 

The Tribunal concluded that Allen was not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.

Allen applied to the Court of Appeal to appeal the decision but his application was dismissed in February.

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