RegulationMar 23 2023

FCA places restrictions on advice firm

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FCA places restrictions on advice firm
Pexels/Martin Pechy

The Financial Conduct Authority has placed restrictions on an advice firm for failing to engage with the regulator as well as concerns over whether the firm holds "appropriate resources". 

Earlier this year (February 13) the FCA placed restrictions on Independently East for failing to engage with it in an open and co-operative way.

The FCA has frozen the firm’s bank accounts, cancelled its permissions to carry out regulated activities.

In the notice, which was released today (March 23), the FCA said it is concerned that Independently East has not provided it with requested information about its clients, financial position, or the Fos award.

In September last year, the Fos ordered Independently East to pay a client £70,000 plus 1.5 per cent interest per annum and £500 for the distress and inconvenience caused after the client paid £70,000 into the firm's business account.

The client understood that his money would be paid into a bond with an interest rate of between 3.25 per cent and 4.25 per cent.

Independently East did not provide the client with any documentation to support the investment, and the Fos found that it did not arrange the investment, and it also failed to give him clear, fair and not misleading information about the investment. 

The FCA said it appears that some of the customer’s funds were transferred into a personal account of a director of the firm. 

The regulator has forbidden the company from disposing, withdrawing, transferring or dealing with any of the assets it holds and receives for itself or on behalf of another without written consent of the FCA.

It has said the company may continue dealing with or disposing of any of its own assets in the proper course of business, provided the amount is under £1,000, or £5,000 for legal expenses.