Regulation  

Financial Ltd chief has two weeks to pay £86k fine

Financial Ltd chief has two weeks to pay £86k fine

The Financial Conduct Authority has given Charlie Palmer, the former chief executive of Financial Limited and Investments Limited, two weeks to pay a fine.

It follows a decision by the Upper Tribunal to uphold the FCA’s previous decision to ban him.

The regulator has now reimposed a ban on Mr Palmer, preventing him from performing any significant influence functions, and it has fined him £86,691.

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Mr Palmer was the majority shareholder and chief executive of Standard Financial Group Limited, and a director and de facto chief executive of the adviser network.

Last month the Upper Tribunal agreed with the FCA that he had failed to act with due skill, care and diligence in carrying out his roles.

The FCA had initially taken action against Mr Palmer in 2015 but this was delayed after he referred the decision to the courts.

The issue dates back to 2008, when the regulator visited Financial Ltd as part of its thematic review of pension switching advice and found was a significant risk of consumer detriment as a result of weaknesses in the company’s systems and controls.

This led to the first review, but in 2012 the FCA found there was still a risk of unsuitable advice, prompting the second review, which is now nearing completion.

The FCA said that while actual loss to individual customers has not been fully quantified, high levels of potential unsuitability had been identified.

In 2014 Financial Ltd was handed a trading ban by the regulator for failures on control of appointed representatives, avoiding fines totalling more than £13m due to having insufficient funds.

Financial Limited, Investments Limited and their parent company Standard Financial Group went into liquidation and in 2015  were bought by Tavistock Investments after receiving reassurances from the FCA over historic liabilities.

Last month Sanlam bought Tavistock Financial, the company which was formed when Tavistock bought Standard Financial Group.

damian.fantato@ft.com