Financial Conduct Authority  

Keydata boss told to pay £76m fine within two weeks

Keydata boss told to pay £76m fine within two weeks

The Financial Conduct Authority has given the former chief executive of failed investment firm Keydata until February 1 to pay the £76m fine upheld by a court last year.

In November 2018 the Upper Tribunal upheld the FCA's regulatory action against Stewart Ford and former Keydata sales director Mark Owen, ruling both had acted without integrity when the firm collapsed in 2009 at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds to the industry.

In a final notice posted on the FCA website yesterday (January 16) the regulator advised Ford was to pay £76m within 16 days of receiving the notice.

The regulator stated if Ford failed to pay the fine by February 1, it would recover the outstanding amount as a debt owed by Ford to the regulator.

In a separate notice on the FCA’s website, the regulator advised Owen was to pay his £3.2m fine by the same date.

Both notices confirmed Ford and Owen were prohibited from performing any role in regulated financial services, an action supported by Judge Roger Berner in November’s trial.

Judge Berner had said at the time: "We are entirely satisfied that Mr Ford's conduct demonstrated a consistent failure by him to act with integrity in carrying out his controlled function.

"Indeed [...] we regard that conduct as of the most egregious kind. We consider that Mr Ford consciously and deliberately set aside his regulatory responsibilities in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambition"

Following the trial, Ford claimed he did not agree with the decision and said he had been the victim of a "grave injustice".

Speaking at the time, he said: "The way they have painted me is like the pantomime villain in this an it is unacceptable."

Investors lost hundreds of millions of pounds in life savings when Keydata collapsed almost ten years ago, with Ford extracting £73.3m in fees from the structure over the three years from 2009.

Much of this money was later paid out in compensation to investors by industry funded lifeboat scheme the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

rachel.addison@ft.com