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Adviser in £350k debt handed 9-year bankruptcy order

Adviser in £350k debt handed 9-year bankruptcy order
Juan Moyano | Dreamstime

A financial adviser who owed more than £350,000 to clients for services he never provided has been served with a nine-year restriction by the Insolvency Service.

Marc Jones worked as a self-employed adviser in Cardiff from January 2012 until October 2018, after which he worked on behalf of a financial institution selling various financial products for a year.

The regulator said when Jones worked for himself, he “failed” to supply his customers with services they had paid for. When he declared bankruptcy, the 42-year-old adviser owed £350,000 to clients.

Then when he switched to working for a company, Jones received commission payments totalling several hundred thousand pounds on the sale of insurance policies that “he knew, or ought to have known, would be cancelled”, according to the Insolvency Service.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, agreed to issue Jones with nine-year bankruptcy restrictions which commenced on February 21, 2022.

These include not being able to borrow more than £500 without disclosing his bankrupt status, and he cannot act as a company director without the court’s permission.

“Marc Jones benefitted by several hundred thousand pounds through his behaviour and that is why he has received such a lengthy ban,” said Alan Draycott, deputy official receiver at the Insolvency Service.

The regulator has recently cracked down on directors trying to evade debt. In December, the Insolvency Service was given the power to investigate and disqualify directors who dissolve their own companies in order to avoid paying liabilities, otherwise known as phoenixing.

The body's new powers, which were first announced back in 2018, mean directors could now also have to pay compensation to creditors who have lost out due to their fraudulent behaviour.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com