The Upper Tribunal has upheld the Financial Conduct Authority’s decision to ban and fine an insurance broker for fraud.
Jeffery Flanders director Andrew Jeffery was fined £150,000 and banned on 20 January 2010 but appealed the decision.
The tribunal’s judgment was issued on 27 June after a 16 day hearing in December 2012 and January 2013. Jeffery has the option to appeal again.
The Tribunal said Jeffery “had a reckless disregard for the interests of his clients, which came a very poor second” and was “obstructive” when the FSA tried to get more information from him.
It found Jeffery had retained clients’ premiums without passing the premiums on to the underwriter. This meant some clients did not get the household and motor cover they had paid for and others were exposed to that risk.
Jeffery also arranged for letters, purporting to come from his clients, to be sent to insurance companies in order to deceive them.
His actions meant underwriters dealing with Jeffery Flanders were contractually obliged to meet claims, even though they had never received the premium from Jeffery.
The Tribunal said: “In our view Mr Jeffery displayed a wholly unacceptable lack of integrity in his dealings with the clients whose cases we have considered, and with other professionals in the insurance market. Far from demonstrating a high standard of conduct, his conduct was of the basest standard.”