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Two advisers fined over £30m Ucis failures

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The Financial Conduct Authority has fined two advisers £28,000 each and banned them from performing accountable significant influence functions at any FCA-regulated firm over their involvement in failed Ucis investments.

The regulator says John Leslie, of Battersea, and Jeffrey Bennett, of Harrow, held controlled functions at two London-based financial advisory firms, Leslie & Nuding (now known as Leslie & Swallow) and Burlington Associates Limited. 

During 2005, Leslie & Nuding and Burlington assisted in the promotion of three Ucis to retail investors in the UK. Over 800 people invested around £30m in the three Ucis, which subsequently failed.

The FCA says Leslie and Bennett were responsible for overseeing the regulated activities of their respective firms and monitoring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. 

The regulator found that Leslie and Bennett failed to exercise due skill, care and diligence in their positions. It says they did not identify the extent to which their firms were involved in promoting the Ucis and failed to detect the risk that the Ucis were “routinely being promoted to ineligible consumers”.

FCA head of retail enforcement Bill Sillett says: “The lax attitude of Leslie and Bennett to their duties was particularly unacceptable when you consider that their firms were involved in promoting the Ucis to thousands of mainstream retail consumers.

“This is another example of why we are toughening the rules around how such schemes can be promoted.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevensd 18th August 2013 at 5:01 pm

    1. Will all and any investor losses arising from these failures of unregulated investments be outwith the FSCS (so lough luck to the hapless victims) or

    2. Will the FSCS take them on (as it seems to take on just about everything and anything these days) and force the rest of us to pay for them?

    And how, by the standards of the day, does the FSA assess certain consumers as having been “ineligible”? Does ineligible, in this context, mean ineligible for compensation from the FSCS or does it mean people for whom investments in such schemes were unsuitable?

  2. My only surprise is that it took the FCA quite so long to root out Jeff Bennett and Burlington.

  3. My only surprise is that it took the FCA so long to root out Jeff Bennett and Burlington.

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