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Tribunal upholds FSA decision not to authorise firm

The financial services and markets tribunal has upheld the FSA’s decision not to authorise three individuals and their firm to sell life insurance.

The case went to the tribunal after Norman Deakin, Gwynneth Roe and Ivan Harrison, along with Ridings GB, were refused authorisation by the FSA in May 2004.

Deakin, formerly an associate director of Bowland Financial Management, was a director of Sterling GB Direct, which ran a scheme selling small-value life insurance policies door to door.

Under the scheme, members of the public were sold a loan to cover their annual premiums. Because the scheme ended up being insufficiently funded, the result for customers was that policies failed, protection was lost and the loan debt remained.

Shortly after Sterling GB Direct was liquidated, the firm Ridings GB, which provided loan finance, became incorporated with Roe and Harrison as directors. However, the tribunal said it had no doubt that Deakin was the driving force behind the firm.

When the firm asked for authorisation, the FSA refused because of the previous circumstances and partly because it was not convinced of the fitness and competence of the directors. The tribunal described Roe as being “wholly out of her depth”.

Following the FSA’s refusal to give authorisation in May 2004, Ridings GB became an appointed representative of Glenbow Financial Management, which sought approval for Deakin. This was turned down by the FSA in November 2004.

FSA director of regulatory transactions Philip Robinson says: “It is pleasing that the tribunal has upheld our case and we will continue to be vigilant in withholding authorisation from those who clearly do not satisfy us that they can carry out regulated activity properly.”

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