Regulation  

FCA bans ‘foolish’ fund manager for life after train scam

FCA bans ‘foolish’ fund manager for life after train scam

Former BlackRock fund manager Jonathan Burrows has been banned for life from the financial sector after dodging train fares for five years despite being a millionaire.

The 44-year-old, who was managing director at BlackRock Asset Management Investor Services, had to pay £43,000 after being caught travelling from East Sussex into the City without paying the full fare.

It is a fraction of the total value of all his properties: Mr Burrows owns a £1m house near Wadhurst and a £2.7m home, complete with ponds and a tennis court, near Stonegate. In the five-year period during which he dodged train fares, Mr Burrows also rented a flat in London, where he claimed he was based predominantly.

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He has now been banned by the FCA, which claimed he was no longer a fit and proper person to work in the financial sector.

Mr Burrows had been a member of BlackRock’s investment strategies group and contributed, as part of the rates strategies team, to the company’s views on interest rates.

He was listed on the financial services register between December 2001 and November 2014, working at BlackRock throughout that time.

His ban in December 2014 was the first and only time the FCA has taken disciplinary action against him.

In a statement, Mr Burrows, who read law studies in Manchester, said: “I have always recognised that what I did was foolish.

“The settlement I made with Southeastern in March 2014 was for an amount significantly in excess of the value of the fares not paid by me on the small number of occasions that I failed to pay.

“While I respect the FCA’s decision, I also regret it, coming as it did after a 20-year career in the City that was without blemish.

“I recognise that the FCA has on its plate more profound wrongdoing than mine in the financial services sector, and I am sorry that my case has taken up its time at this critical juncture for the future of the City and its reputation.”

Mr Burrows, who is reported to have earned £1m a year, boarded the train at Stonegate, a station in East Sussex without ticket barriers, and got off the train at Cannon Street, tapping out with an Oyster card.

This meant that instead of paying the full train fare of £21.50 he actually paid the maximum Oyster fare of £7.20.

On 19 November 2013 he was stopped by a revenue protection officer at the gates of Cannon Street station and was found not to have a valid ticket.

British Transport Police was asked to investigate the case but this was dropped when Mr Burrows reached a settlement with Southeastern Railways.

However when interviewed by the FCA Mr Burrows admitted fare dodging on several occasions.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Mr Burrows held a senior position within the financial services industry.

“Approved persons must act with honesty and integrity at all times and, where they do not, we will take action.”