Tribunal slams ‘reckless’ adviser and backs £150k fine

The Upper Tribunal has agreed with the regulator that an insurance intermediary’s conduct was of the “basest standard”, and has backed the regulator’s decision to fine and ban him.

On 13 July 2010 the FSA fined Andrew Jeffery £150,000 and banned him from the industry. However on 17 September 2010 Mr Jeffery, referred this decision to the tribunal.

The tribunal has now ruled the regulator was right to fine and ban Mr Jeffery, whose misconduct occurred whilst he was acting as the sole director and only approved person at insurance intermediary Jeffery Flanders (Consulting) Limited.

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The tribunal agreed with the regulator that Mr Jeffery was not a fit and proper person, and posed a serious risk to clients, to other parties dealing with him and to the integrity of, and confidence in, the financial system.

Mr Jeffery’s was hit with a fine for creating and sending letters to insurers in the name of three clients and falsely representing their true position with the intention and effect of deceiving insurers.

The FCA also found he forged, or arranging to fake, a client’s signature on a proposal form to a new insurer.

The regulator also revealed he failed to effect insurance for a number of clients, and failed to inform them of the true position.

Rather than coming clean to the regulator, the FCA stated he made false statements to the authority and failed to deal with the regulator in an open and co-operative way.

The tribunal’s conclusions include the following passage: “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.

“He had a reckless disregard for the interests of his clients, which came a very poor second to his own”.

The tribunal decided the financial penalty must be paid in full by Mr Jeffery to the FCA by no later than 6 September 2013, 14 days from the date of the final notice.