An former Intrinsic authorised representative who faked his statement of professional standing to show he was qualified under the Retail Distribution Review has been banned by the Financial Conduct Authority and fined £19,900.
Sheffield-based Ewan King is the first adviser to be banned by the FCA for fabricating these statements, the regulator said in a statement.
When approached, Mr King said: “It was a silly mistake, I accept the FCA’s judgement, and I’m incredibly sorry for what I did.”
According to the FCA register, Mr King was an authorised representative at Intrinsic until June 2013. The watchdog said Intrinsic was not aware that he had faked his SPS and that Mr King had “led the firm to believe” he had a certificate issued by the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Mr King worked as a self-emplooyed adviser at Sheffield-based Blue Partnership until mid-2011. At the time the offences were committed he was self-employed under the trading name Madison Wealth Management.
Mr King told the firm he had his SPS in “early 2013”. When challenged to produce his statement, Mr King sent two fabricated documents, the FCA said.
The FCA later checked the validity of Mr King’s statements and was told by the CII that Mr King had not applied for or been issued with a statement because he had not reached the right level of qualification.
Mr King later admitted to Intrinsic that he had failed the relevant exams and his contract was subsequently terminated.
Intrinsic declined to comment.
Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Pushing up professional standards was a key objective of the RDR. Thousands of advisers have met those standards.
“Mr King failed not only to achieve the qualifications required by RDR but then acted dishonestly and continued advising customers. His conduct fell woefully short of the standard that we, and consumers, demand of those who work in the financial services industry.”
Mr King agreed to settle at an early stage of the FCA’s case and so qualified for a 30 per cent discount. Were it not for this discount, the FCA would have imposed a financial penalty of £25,734.