Catalyst sister company stripped of permissions

The Financial Conduct Authority has stripped the permissions of Catalyst Fund Management Limited, sister company of the failed Catalyst Investment Group, for failing to have any Retail Distribution Review qualified advisers.

The two companies share the same address and same director.

Catalyst Investment Group was a major distributor of Arm Asset Backed Securities and was declared in default in October, meaning advisers could face an interim levy of up to £54m.

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Although Catalyst Fund Management previously had permission to offer retail investment advice, it had no qualified advisers.

According to the FCA, the regulator at first requested CFM voluntarily withdraw their permissions but took action after the firm failed to do so.

This is the first time the FCA has removed a firm’s permission for not having qualified advisers since the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review, the regulator said.

Nick Poyntz-Wright, long-term savings and pensions supervision director at the FCA, said: “One of our objectives is to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, which means that we will work to ensure that firms can only offer advice to consumers if they have qualified advisers.”

The FCA’s supervisory notice says: “Firms who do not employ qualified retail investment advisers, whilst being permitted to provide investment advice to retail consumers, present a risk to the [FCA’s] operational objective of consumer protection in that there is a risk that retail investment advice will be provided to consumers by individuals who have not attained the relevant regulatory module of an appropriate qualification, as required following the Retail Distribution Review.”