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FCA bans non-executive director over conflict of interest

FCA bans non-executive director over conflict of interest

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned a non-executive director who failed to declare a conflict of interest when working for two mutual societies.

Angela Burns has been banned and fined £20,000 for "failing to act with integrity" while a non-executive director.

Between January 2009 and May 2011, Ms Burns was a non-executive director at Marine and General Life Assurance Society and Teachers Provident Society and served as chairman of their investment committees.

But it emerged that while both mutual societies were engaged in discussions about Vanguard over the provision of investment manager services, which Ms Burns took part in, at the same that Ms Burns was soliciting work from Vanguard.

Ms Burns did not tell either mutual society she was seeking consultancy work with Vanguard while providing them with what they thought was impartial advice.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight of the FCA, said: "Directors have a duty to disclose or avoid conflicts of interest so they can be addressed by the board.

"In this case, Ms Burns placed herself in a position where her duty as a non-executive director may have conflicted with concurrent opportunities she was pursuing.

"This was neither disclosed nor, as a consequence, could it be addressed by the board. This was inappropriate and inconsistent with the standards of integrity expected from senior managers."

Ms Burns referred the FCA's original decision to the Upper Tribunal, which ruled in the regulator's favour but Ms Burns unsuccessfully took her case to the Court of Appeal.

In January 2018 Ms Burns applied for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court but last month the Supreme Court issued an order refusing her application for permission to appeal.