Regulation  

FCA bans fraudster adviser who failed to disclose criminal probe

FCA bans fraudster adviser who failed to disclose criminal probe

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned Matthew Creed from performing any regulated activity, following an investigation which found he had acted dishonestly and lacked integrity.

In particular, the FCA said Creed had failed to inform it of his bankruptcy and disqualification as a company director.

In a final notice dated July 9 and published today (July 14), the regulator outlined a summary of reasons to ban Creed, including that he was convicted, on June 21, 2018 of four counts of executing transactions in fraud of creditors, contrary to the Insolvency Act 1986.

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He was sentenced on July 10, 2018 to a total term of 12 months’ imprisonment, to be suspended for a period of two years, and to 80 hours of unpaid work.

Creed was approved to carry out FCA regulated functions at AAA Management Limited between January 2005 and December 2019, including in a CF30 function and responsible for mortgage intermediation, and he was also the director of a company not regulated by the FCA, Pembrokeshire Estates Limited (PEL), between January 2002 and April 2013. 

Creed also worked as an IFA at other firms, according to Companies House.

The FCA said Creed “lacks honesty and integrity” in respect of his dealings with the authority and was “not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.”

Between February and August 2012, Creed dishonestly executed eight transfers which removed £166,000 from PEL’s accounts, of which he was convicted for four. 

Creed also provided an undertaking which disqualified him from holding office as a company director in March 2016. 

In June 2016, he became aware he was the subject of a criminal investigation for executing fraudulent transactions and in October 2017, he became aware that he was being charged with four counts of executing fraudulent transactions.

As an approved person Creed was required to report the fact of his disqualification and the fact he was under criminal investigation to the FCA.

However, over a period of more than three years, he failed to do so.

Although he challenged the decision to prohibit him, his appeal was ultimately withdrawn.

The FCA said: “His conviction for offences involving fraudulent transactions demonstrates a clear and serious lack of honesty and integrity, and his continued failure to act honestly and with integrity in relation to his regulatory obligations towards the authority further establishes his lack of fitness and propriety in the years following the commission of the offences.

“In reaching this decision, the authority has had regard to all relevant circumstances, including: the relevance and materiality of the offences; the length of time since the offences were committed; the severity of the risk posed by Mr Creed to consumers and to confidence in the financial system; the particular controlled functions he performed; and the market in which he operated. 

“The authority considers that it is appropriate to impose the prohibition order in paragraph 1.1 to achieve its consumer protection and integrity objectives.”