FCA re-affirms suspension for client money breach adviser

The Financial Conduct Authority has re-affirmed its suspension of permissions for Cheshire-based advice firm SK8, in a second supervisory notice following action last year over a client money breach.

Last year (11 December 2013), the regulator removed the firm’s permissions owing to the fact it had no individuals employed who were authorised to give investment advice.

This, in turn, had been the result of the firm applying in November to withdraw the permissions of Geoffrey Fincher to perform three control functions and terminating his directorship of the company. He had been the only authorised individual at the firm.

Article continues after advert

Mr Fincher’s permissions were removed after he deposited client cheques into an account in his name despite having no authorisation to hold client money, the FCA said.

According to the first supervisory notice, the former director accepted two cheques from a client written for the purposes of investment, including one cheque for £35,000. Mr Fincher had subsequent meetings with this client in which he provided a hand-written note purporting to detail how he had invested the client’s money.

The decision also required that all SK8 assets could not be released or spent without permission from the FCA.

In a second supervisory notice the regulator says following the previous request SK8 has asked the FCA to grant regulatory permissions to perform the three control functions to Gary Fincher, who alongside Mavis Fincher has been made a director of the company.

The FCA said it has not yet processed the application for Mr Gary Fincher and therefore the firm remains without an authorised person to carry on regulated activities.