Compliance

Compliance Corner: Financial Conduct Authority

Editorial Staff, 16 April 2021

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The latest compliance news: regulatory developments, punishments, guidance, permissions and new product and service offerings.

Financial Conduct Authority
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned wealth advisor, Simon Varley, from working in financial services. It has fined him £68,300 ($94.150) for carrying out controlled roles without approval, and for giving advice when he knew he wasn’t qualified.

The regulator declared that Varley is not a “fit and proper person” because of these offences. 

Varley worked at Dickinsons Financial Management, a small financial advisory firm where he held a customer adviser function until January 2013, the FCA said in a statement yesterday.

He “repeatedly misled” his fellow directors by providing false information in board meetings about sitting and passing the relevant exams required for him to continue advising, and falsely claiming that he had applied to the FCA for approval as a CF30 but that the FCA had not updated the Financial Services Register, the FCA said. However, no application was ever made. Varley also knowingly enabled false information to be given to Dickinsons’ professional indemnity insurance providers about the qualifications he held.

“Mr Varley deliberately lied about his position and his misconduct continued for a number of years, potentially creating a risk of loss to customers. He continued to abuse his position of trust as a director, proving that he lacks both honesty and integrity and poses a serious risk to consumers and to confidence in the financial system,” Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said.

After new rules took effect in 2013, advisors had to hold a minimum level of qualification to be approved for a CF30 function – of the sort that Varley carried out. Although his CF30 approval was removed in January 2013 by the FCA at his request, Varley still continued to advise retail customers between January 2013 and September 2017, the regulator said.

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