Regulation  

Insurance broker banned over forged evidence

Insurance broker banned over forged evidence

The Upper Tribunal has directed the Financial Conduct Authority to prohibit former insurance broker Stephen Allen on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person.

The tribunal reached this decision because Mr Allen was found to have submitted a forged document in evidence and to have knowingly given untrue evidence before the High Court in another matter.

Georgina Philippou, acting director of the FCA’s enforcement and market oversight division, said that they have taken action because he failed to demonstrate the standards of behaviour expected.

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Mr Allen was an insurance broker specialising in professional indemnity risks. On 25 July 2012 the then Financial Services Authority issued a decision notice stating it intended to prohibit him because he was not a fit and proper person as a result, among other things, of fees he had allegedly charged improperly to an insurance client.

He referred the notice to the tribunal and, in support of his case, produced a single redacted page from a High Court judgment handed down on 16 December 2011 - in which Mr Allen was the claimant - with the intention of discrediting a witness due to give evidence against him for the FCA.

Mr Allen refused to provide a full, unredacted copy of the judgment to the regulator despite being asked to do so. The FCA therefore obtained a copy of the judgment from the court transcribers and discovered that the judge had found he had knowingly advanced and given untrue evidence to the court, which included submitting a forged document as evidence.

As a result, the FCA obtained permission from the tribunal to rely on the findings in the High Court judgment and Mr Allen’s subsequent attempts to conceal these as grounds to prohibit him, in place of the case concerning insurance fees.

Following a trial of this matter from at the start of February 2014, the tribunal concluded on 6 August that year that Mr Allen was not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to a regulated activity, and that the FCA should prohibit him from doing so.

He applied for permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal the decision, but his application was dismissed in February 2015.

peter.walker@ft.com