Regulation  

IFA to stand trial for giving unauthorised advice

Prohibited independent financial advisers Gary Hexley and John Cooper are set to stand trail in September 2013 for giving investment advise without authorisation from the regulator, according to the final Financial Services Authority annual report.

The report states the two men are also charged with dishonestly concealing information about, among other things, “their lack of authorisation and the suitability of the products that they were advising elderly and in some instances very vulnerable ex-clients to invest in”.

Both men are due to stand trial for these offences in September 2013.

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The annual report for the final year of operation for the now defunct Financial Services Authority, published today (10 July), also revealed that it has charged another individual, Michael Lewis, with 13 counts of breaching general prohibition and three counts of assisting a fraud by false representation.

The FSA said in its annual report that the regulator has focused more on individuals who have been prohibited by the FSA from conducting financial services who attempt to carry on their activities under the radar.

In June 2011, the regulator publicly censured and prohibited West Midlands-based Mr Hexley, for giving customers unsuitable investment advice. Were it not for Mr Hexley’s bankruptcy, the FSA said it would have also fined him £20,000 for lacking in competence and capability.

Earlier this year, the regulator told FTAdviser that it was “aware” of de-authorised advisers that are continuing to give clients advice that is then placed with providers as non-advised business.

It called on intermediaries to blow the whistle on peers that have officially exited but continue to advise.